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UMN Extension Offering Financial Counseling for Farmers

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
April 26, 2017        
Source:  Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator-Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties

UMN Extension Offering Financial Counseling for Farmers
By Emily Wilmes and Alison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (4/26/2017) — University of Minnesota Extension announced last month it will begin offering one-to-one financial counseling to farmers in serious financial stress.

Dean of Extension, Bev Durgan, said “We know that due to a variety of factors, including on-going low prices, some farmers find themselves facing difficult circumstances.  With our new program, Extension offers distressed farmers help in understanding their financial situation and exploring options to keep their farms functioning as a viable enterprise.”

To set up a confidential appointment with an Extension farm financial analyst, farmers can call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077.

The Extension program is expected to run for two years and will be 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.

Financial analysts include retired agricultural business professionals from Extension and other organizations. The program is setup 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 1-800-232-9077.


Emily Wilmes
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems - Livestock
(320) 255-6169
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