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Home > All About the MDA > Commissioner's Office > Minnesota Farm Advocates

Minnesota Farm Advocates


Farm Advocates provide one-on-one assistance for Minnesota farmers who face crisis caused by either a natural disaster or financial problems. Farm Advocates understand the needs of our agricultural families and communities. They are trained and experienced in agricultural lending practices, mediation, lender negotiation, farm programs, crisis counseling, disaster programs and to recognize the need for legal and/or social services.

The Farm Advocate Program has been supported by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture since 1984. There is no charge or fee for Farm Advocate assistance.

Farm Advocates receive continuing education in the changing and complex issues of lender policies, bankruptcy laws, mediation, tax laws, USDA's Farm Service Agency's loan programs, Farm Credit Services and all other government programs affecting agriculture.

The Farm Advocates have developed a network of attorneys, accountants, human service professionals, educators and other sources of information and services.

Equipped with all these resources, the Farm Advocates share their expertise with others, enabling them to make informed decisions.

Farm Advocates

Jan Boll - Trail
Home 218-268-4472 / Fax 218-268-4040

Bruce Lubitz - Perham
Home 218-346-4866

Connie Dykes - Lake City
651-345-5149

David Elliason - Isle
320-676-3559

David Hesse - Comfrey
Home 507-877-3012

Dean Hetland - Eagle Bend
Home 218-738-5374

Dan Hunz - Clear Lake
320-743-5660

Ruth Ann Karty - Clarkfield
Home 320-669-7135

Mary Reierson - Thief River Falls
Area Ag Info Center 218-681-6236 / Home 218-681-7360

When should you see a Farm Advocate?

  • When you are going into mediation.
  • When you negotiate with lenders.
  • When you are liquidating assets of the farm operation.
  • When you need financial information.
  • When you suffer a devastating loss, i.e., fire, disease or natural disaster.
  • When you receive an adverse decision from a state or federal agency.
  • When your open accounts have substantially increased over 12 months.
  • When there is a major drop in your equity over a period of 12 months.
  • When you are entering into or dissolving a partnership.
  • When you want to begin farming.

Farm Advocate Services

Financial Planning

  • FINPACK preparation
  • Cash flow projections
  • Evaluate financial position
  • Identify problem areas
  • Discuss options
  • Debt restructuring
  • Provide information on debt resolution
  • Assist/prepare loan applications
  • Identify financial goals
  • Retirement planning

Lender Negotiations

  • Mediation planning/sessions
  • Farm Service Agency
  • Farm Credit Services
  • Banks
  • Implement dealers
  • Other creditors

Farm Programs

  • Planning
  • Application
  • Appeals

Legal Services

  • Referrals
  • Assist in case preparation

Social and Human Services

  • Applications
  • Appeals
  • Referrals

MDA Contact

Hotline 1-800-967-2474
Jan Boll, Field Manager . . . 218-268-4472
Bruce Lubitz, Field Manager . . . 218-346-4866