Description: Annie’s Project is a national risk management education program for women in agriculture and been conducted in South Carolina since 2012. Graduates will come together to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and continue to build a network of educated and empowered women in agriculture.
Bio: Jennifer Boyles – Clemson University, Annie’s Project Coordinator
Jennifer Boyles has been with the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service for over 25 years and serves as the South Carolina Annie’s Project State Coordinator and Agribusiness Agent. Jennifer is certified as a trainer, mediator and facilitator and has done extensive work with women’s leadership development. She holds a BA in Business and Home Economics from Mars Hill College and a MA in Conflict Management and Human Behavior from Columbia College. She is a graduate of the SC Economic Development Institute, the Southern Regional Community Development Institute and Clemson University Public Issues Management School. Jennifer was named the 2017 recipient of the National Annie’s Project Bob Wells Award that signifies outstanding dedication and excellence in educational programing.
Bio: Kathy McCaskill, McCaskill Farms
Kathy and husband Lee have been together 40 years now. They have three children and 11 grandchildren, with a set of twin boys, and all live within seven miles of each other. They have always been self-employed. Lee worked while Kathy stayed on the home front raising their children and keeping the books. Lee is a licensed general contractor specializing in historical renovations, who has received two historical awards for his work. Kathy is the farmer. They have evolved into what is now Old McCaskill’s Farm out of necessity. They started out as a hobby farm, but quickly realized they needed to produce some revenue. So, all the moving parts of the farm include: the farm with store, B&B, field trips and tours, events and weddings, lunch on the farm on Fridays, canning classes, 2 farm days a year and country Christmas shopping with 50+ vendors in December. Their daughter is making a living, as well, in the DHEC kitchen on the farm (which was built for canning) by catering, hosting lunch on the farm on Fridays, and selling frozen homemade meals. Our oldest granddaughter is in her first year of college majoring in hospitality in hopes of taking this over. Our two sons are also in the construction business: the middle son is a self-employed contractor now and the youngest still works for Lee. According to Kathy, “All this kinda found us and evolved as our children grew up and left home. This was never a dream we said we wanted to do one day, but do enjoy it as it is a labor of love!”
Description: In 2016 The University of Georgia led the Southern Region Women’s Agricultural Leadership Summit. Come listen to a panel of strong women advocates from UGA who will discuss what the most important issues that were found facing women in agriculture today and recommendations that will help you become connected, educated and empowered.
Dr. Laura Perry Johnson – University of Georgia Extension
Dr. Laura Perry Johnson has served as the Associate Dean for Extension at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences since January of 2015. She leads an organization of county extension agents and state specialists who serve Georgia’s agricultural industry, support Georgia families and run the Georgia 4-H youth development program serving more than 170,000 young people. UGA Extension serves citizens in all of Georgia’s 159 counties and beyond.
Dr. Johnson has been with the College of Agricultural Environmental Sciences since 1993. She began her career as the State 4-H Livestock specialist. During her tenure, the 4-H Animal Programs flourished and grew in both size and scope.
In 2002, she became the 4-H Program Development Coordinator for the Southwest District and in 2012 was promoted to the UGA Extension District Director for Southwest Georgia, where she guided all Extension programs for 41 counties in the biggest row crop agriculture area of Georgia.
Dr. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from UGA, and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Animal Science specializing in meat and muscle biology. A native of Moultrie, GA and part of a 7th generation family farming operation, Dr. Johnson is married to Scott Johnson and they have two teenaged children, Bill and Libba.
Dr. Lauren L. Griffeth – University of Georgia Extension
Dr. Lauren Ledbetter Griffeth is an Extension Leadership Specialist in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia. She currently directs Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry, Extend, and Extension Academy professional leadership programs.
Dr. Griffeth’s research interests include: generational differences in the workplace, organizational development, and women’s leadership development. She is a triple dawg, obtaining a bachelor of science in agricultural communications, masters of education and a doctoral degree in adult education from the University of Georgia where she was just named a “40 Under 40 Alumni.” Dr. Griffeth has been published in the Harvard Business Review and is a columnist for the Pink Tractor Magazine.
Before serving as a faculty member, Dr. Griffeth held a variety of roles in development and has contributed to raising over $7 million in private support for education and healthcare initiatives.
Lucy Ray – University of Georgia Extension
Lucy spearheaded the development of the Southern Women in Agriculture (SWAG) workshop, a hands-on training for women, led by six female County Agricultural Agents. The first workshop was held in fall of 2015 and was such a success it led to the workshop being offered annually in various locations throughout the state. The SWAG workshops have provided training in equipment operation, livestock handling, and Beef Quality Assurance to over 120 participants.
Ms. Ray earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Berry College and a Masters in Animal Science from the University of Georgia. Before coming to work for UGA Extension, she was an animal science instructor for Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. Ms. Ray raises horses and operates a small commercial beef cattle operation.