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SEMINAR DESIGNED FOR MISSISSIPPI FARMWOMEN

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Women who work in farming businesses are often the sole decision-makers, and a new three-day program has been created to help them make the best choices.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, and Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce are sponsoring three business management seminars for farmwomen called Mississippi Women in Agriculture – Annie's Project.

Sonia Hancock, program coordinator, said farm wives play a major role in the financial management and decision-making aspects of farming operations, either as sole proprietors or as strong partners to their husbands.

“There are about 52,000 farms in Mississippi. Of the 57 percent of farm operators in the state who list farming as their major occupation, more than 5,200 are women,” Hancock said. “Many women have had to learn by trial and error in the past. This program will provide resources for women to gain information on making sound business practice decisions.”

MSWIA is based on a program developed in the Midwest. Annie's Project tells the story of a woman who grew up in a small farm community with a goal of marrying a farmer. She did just that and spent her life learning how to be an involved business partner with her husband.

This seminar shares stories of Annie's experiences with other farmwomen working in a complex, dynamic, evolving farm business environment.

Specific topics covered include business plans, estate planning, financial record-keeping, financial statements, human resources, marketing, risk management, technology security, and women and money.

Seminar dates are Sept. 25-27 in Jackson, Oct. 23-25 in Starkville and Nov. 7-9 in Hattiesburg. Preregistration is required, and application deadlines are Sept. 11 for Jackson, Oct. 9 for Starkville and Oct. 24 for Hattiesburg.

Cost to attend is $60, which covers lunch, a notebook and support materials. For more information about the seminar, please contact the local county Extension office, call (662) 325-3080 or visit http://msucares.com/womeninag/.

As part of the seminar, participants also will select topics for four upcoming video conferences called “Hot Topics.” The video conferences will be available to the general public and are scheduled for Oct. 2, Dec. 7, Feb. 1 and April 4.

This material is based on work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service under award number 2004-49200-03123.

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