By Emily Wilmes, U of M Extension
University of Minnesota Extension continues to offer one-on-one financial counseling to farmers in serious financial stress. The program is ongoing and still available to farmers interested.
Dean of Extension, Bev Durgan, said “We know that due to a variety of factors, including ongoing low prices, some farmers find themselves facing difficult circumstances. With our program, Extension offers distressed farmers help in understanding their financial situation and exploring options to keep their farms functioning as a viable enterprise.”
The Extension program 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.
To set up a confidential appointment with an Extension farm financial analyst, farmers can call the Farm Information Line at (800) 232-9077.
Financial analysts include retired agricultural business professionals from Extension and other organizations. The program is set up to provide analysts at geographically diverse locations in Minnesota. They’ve undergone training to update their capabilities and will work closely with current Extension colleagues.
Extension agricultural economist Kevin Klair says “Compared to the 1980s, the magnitude of the financial stress on Minnesota farms is not as widespread. That’s good news, but it may also keep the many farmers in difficult circumstances from seeking the kind of help that they need. That’s why we’re working with a variety of agriculture interests in Minnesota, including the banking industry, to reach out and let farmers know we can help them explore their options.”
If you’re interested in confidential financial help from an Extension farm financial analyst, call the Farm Information Line at (800) 232-9077. It is not too late to enroll in the program, so if your farm is in serious financial stress and you are in need of financial counseling, call the Farm Information Line today.
If you’re looking for someone to talk to you as you deal with other stressors related to farming, you can contact the Farm and Rural Helpline at (833) 600-2760.