Ruth Hambleton>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 12


duration 10:50
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For women in agriculture, many of the problems of the past are still here. She feels taking women's personalities and training them to cope are the keys to correcting these problems. Realizes that farm life is a very physical world, so there are limitations for women. Notes that some women who had left the farm previously are ready to come back after retirement because they remember the good time on the farm. States that some strong points of women in agriculture include ideas, ability as decision makers, and, in general, being more open about sharing information. She also feels that women are better at marketing commodities than men. While men tend to hold onto grain to seek higher prices, women are ready to sell to change the commodity into cash. Cites examples of men turning over marketing to women after going through Annie's Project. She is anticipating that Annie's Project will go nationwide in 2009. Leadership team which has been in place for 3 years has taken the program into surrounding states and is now ready to continue into the next tier of states. Now sees Annie's Project as a permanent program. Leadership team consists of men and women that have brought instruction, structure, and purpose to the program. In the future, it will be important to maintain the core principles of the 5 year old program. She likens the program's age to that of a teenager, with lots of interest from others in changing the teen. While it is acceptable to adapt the program to local areas in regard to types of farming, livestock practices, etc. the basic foundation should stay the same. For example, she objects to putting the program online because a key component of the program's format is to have people interact in the same room. To maintain core values, leaders trained in Illinois in turn properly train instructors in other states. The leadership team seeks to find someone with an understanding of how farm women learn and what they need. The leadership team actually visits sites in the particular state. Hope to ensure that participants' first experience is a positive one. Maryland and Michigan have just finished establishing their version of the program. In essence, the program spreads by itself. She indicates that the hardest part of getting the program up and running was the need for organization.