Weekend Annie’s Project at Salt Fork State Park

Six amazing women are now graduates of Annie’s Project after this weekend’s retreat at Salt Fork State Park lodge. The weekend’s topics covered farm business mission statements and goals, collaborating with lenders, liability insurance, grain marketing, succession planning, transferring non-titled property (the sentimental family heirlooms), legal liability, and more. Be on the look-out for an Annie’s Project near you, or call your local Extension Office to express you interest in bringing a program to your county!

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Annie’s Project East Retreat Agenda

Registration will remain open for the Annie’s Project East Retreat until next Wednesday, January 24. Please register online: Annie’s Project East Retreat Registration  This retreat will be from Friday, January 26 at 4:00 pm until Sunday, January 28 at 11:00 am at the Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center.


Negotiating and Staying Connected with Women in Ag

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with sixteen women from Coshocton and nearby counties at our “Ladies on the Land” program. This was designed for women landowners and women tenants and covered leasing and negotiating.

One portion of the workshop included “Peggy and Emily’s Top Ten Negotiating Tips for Farmland Leasing.” I developed this list with my colleague Peggy Hall, OSU Extension Ag Law Field Specialist, based on her experiences as an attorney and other Extension resources. Here is a peek into our top ten list:

  1. Schedule a yearly meeting to discuss the leasing relationship and maintain communication throughout the year.
  2. Know your land’s capabilities. Ask your tenant to provide regular updates to inform you about its productivity.
  3. Identify your level of risk aversion and whether you’re willing to share risk.
  4. Identify and share your objectives for the land – investment and otherwise.
  5. Know your tenant’s financial position and recognize the tenant’s need for profitability.
  6. Consider the services your tenant can provide as points of negotiation.
  7. Use questioning (instead of demanding) to your advantage.
  8. Leave room for negotiation.
  9. Always have the goal of finding win/win solutions to any challenges.
  10. Put points of agreement in writing as soon as you reach them.

There are two more opportunities approaching quickly for Women in Agriculture. Be sure to register soon for the East Ohio Women in Agriculture dinner at Raven’s Glenn Winery on November 14 from 6:00-8:30 pm. This is an evening especially for networking with women in our area who are involved in agriculture as producers and/or supporters. The program for the evening is “Take Control: clear the clutter, manage your time, and prioritize your tasks.” You can get more details and register at Women in Ag Dinner. Cost for the evening is $25 and registration deadline is November 8.

The second upcoming program is an Annie’s Project Retreat December 1-3 at Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center in east central Ohio. Annie’s Project provides education and a support network to enhance business skills of women involved in all aspects of agriculture.

We’ve held four different classes of Annie’s Project here in Coshocton County and have over 70 women who are graduates of this program- more than any other county in Ohio. This is a tremendous way to connect with other women and learn about the local resources available to assist with managing all the risks associated with the agricultural life.

Annie’s Project fosters problem solving, record keeping, and decision-making skills in farm women. Women will receive training in five areas of agricultural risk management: financial, marketing, production, legal, and human resources.

The participant fee is $105 per person, which includes all materials and meals. Lodging is $99 per room per night with up to four people per room. Registration deadline is November 17 and details can be found at Annie’s Project East. Sponsors of the program include Farm Credit and Nationwide.

Today I’ll leave you with this quote from Luke Roberts, “Conflict is good in a negotiation process… it’s the clash of two ideas, which then, all being well, produces a third idea.”

East Ohio Women in Agriculture Fall Dinner Program

Image result for clear the clutterJoin us for an evening of networking, idea sharing and delicious food. Identify your top time wasters and problem areas. Gain perspective and tools for prioritizing. Share tips, tools and routines that work for you!

All Dates – Fall Dinner – Program flyer-1l16kp3

You can register online for the  November 14 Dinner that will be in eastern Coshocton  County at go.osu.edu/wiadinner2017


Hands-On with Tractor Operation and Safety

Empowerment can be an overused word, but last week I was able to witness this as I watched a group of women gain more confidence around agricultural machinery. Twenty-one women from eight eastern Ohio counties met for a Hands-On Tractor Night hosted at JD Equipment in Zanesville.

Dee Jepsen is the leader for The Ohio State University Agricultural Health and Safety Program.  You can learn more about the program at:  agsafety.osu.edu . Jepsen shared several statistics about agriculture, and specifically tractor safety, that may be surprising to you. From 2004-2013, the number of fatalities on Ohio farms is on the decrease. With the exception of 2010, fatalities have decreased each year since 2006. In 2006 there were 27 fatalities and only 11 in both 2012 and 2013. I say “only,” but I am sure that the families of those who died would see the statistics differently. There were a total of 168 deaths in that ten-year period. Even one is too many.

Most fatalities occurred within three months of the year: May, July and October. These are the three times during the year when tractors are used most often. May is planting season, July is small grain harvest and hay making, and October is harvest for corn and soybeans. Tractors, by far, cause the most fatalities on farms. Of the 168 deaths, 75 of them resulted from a tractor accident. And of the tractor accidents, 67% of them were from rollovers.

In eastern Ohio especially, the need to use Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) correctly is critical. According to the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, 1 in 10 operators overturns a tractor in his or her lifetime, and 80% of them involve experienced operators. In order to use ROPS correctly, the operator must make sure that the ROPS bar is extended and secure. The other crucial piece of the formula is wearing a seat belt. This system of a ROPS and seat belt has never failed.

Jepsen also reminded the women that one seat means one rider. Typically those extra riders on tractors are children. The age distribution of fatalities shows that 29 young people between 1-20 years old were killed in farm accidents from 2004-2013. Those numbers drop for those between 21-40 years old, but then they begin to increase. There were 47 fatalities for people under 40 years old and also 47 deaths for 41-60 year olds. However, there were 67 fatalities for farmers over 61 years of age. As reaction times slow, accidents increase.

One final thought that Jepsen shared with the group is the “3 E’s.” These are education, engineering and enforcement. She applauded the women for educating themselves about tractors – from parts ID to operation to safety. Equipment manufacturers are constantly researching ways to engineer safety features for tractors to assist operators. Farming is exempt from many of the regulations that industries have, but enforcement does not just mean laws. Farm women often have a unique opportunity to encourage farm safety practices for both young and old on the family farm.

I was so pleased to work with JD Equipment in Zanesville for the program. Heather Dunmire, Alicia Shafer, and Christyn Kurt were all extremely knowledgeable and helpful for the women. Participants were challenged with identifying 20 parts of a tractor for their ice breaker activity as they arrived. Then they were given the opportunity to drive a zero turn mower and both remove and install a loader on a compact tractor.

Today I’ll leave you with this quote from Eleanor Evert, “For safety is not a gadget but a state of mind.”