Long before I started FarmHer, I had heard of a farm women’s education program called Annie’s Project. I remember thinking that I liked what it had to offer. Fast forward and I found myself at a Nationwide meeting. There I had the opportunity to meet Ruth Hambleton. She is the founder of the project that has helped educate thousands of women around the country.
20 Years of Annie’s Project
Ruth founded Annies Project. Which has now spread to 38 states and US Virgin Islands with over 19,000 graduates. In fact, Annie’s Project is celebrating it 20 year anniversary this year!
She was an extension educator in Illinois and through her program, named after her mother, Annie, she launched a curriculum that has done more than fill a need; it has field a fire!
The program honors Annie’s entrepreneurship. And her goal of raising a family and being an active partner in the family farm operation.
What Courses Does Annie’s Project Offer?
The target audience of the curriculum is farm women with a passion for business and involvement. Participants gain a better understanding of human resource issues, business plans, financial documentation, property titles, cash and crop share leases, marketing plans, retirement and estate planning and types of insurance.
Annie’s Project uses a methodology that builds confidence, develops networks and creates lifelong learners among women farmers, ranchers, growers, landowners, and agriculturalists.
It seems I can’t go to a farm where I find a woman who hasn’t been affected by Ruth’s program.
On a FarmHer trip through Illinois we made a short stop at Ruth’s own small farm. She and her husband live in rural Illinois. We walked around the property as she told me about Annie’s Project in the beginning. And humbly, she shared how it has grown.
She showed me her small greenhouse, giving some insight into her love of growing things. Then a quick trip down to visit the small herd of cattle wrapped up our visit.
A Movement with Humble Beginnings
I am always amazed when I meet someone with such vision. Ruth didn’t set out to create a movement. She saw a need and went about creating the program to fill it. She pushed her program forward and built a team of people who were interested in seeing women on the farm succeed.
Learn more about this incredible organization.
Find More Stories at Everybody Eats
We all eat, and that is why farming will always matter. Everybody Eats is where the stories of food and farming intersect.
These stories told through my FarmHer lens connect us to our food and more importantly, the people behind it.
Nationwide’s Everybody Eats is a collection of stories of those who protect our rural communities, who grow our food with extraordinary care, and who provide support, education, and assistance to make sure Everybody Eats.