Help for distressed farmers
University of Minnesota Extension is offering one-to-one financial counseling to farmers in serious financial stress.
The financial counseling program, announced in the spring, is expected to run for two years and is modeled after similar services offered in states including Kansas and Iowa. It will augment services currently available in Minnesota, including the Farmer-Lender Mediation program, which is overseen by Extension, and the state Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Farm Advocates assistance.
“We know that due to a variety of factors, including ongoing low prices, some farmers find themselves facing difficult circumstances,” says Bev Durgan, Extension dean. “Extension offers distressed farmers help in understanding their financial situation and exploring options to keep their farms functioning as a viable enterprise.”
The program is set up to provide analysts at geographically diverse locations in Minnesota. The analysts include retired agricultural business professionals from Extension and other organizations. They’ve undergone training to update their capabilities and will work closely with current Extension colleagues.
To set up a confidential appointment with an Extension farm financial analyst, farmers can call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077.