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The Rural Finance Authority (RFA) Board consists of six public members, who must reside outside the metropolitan area and are appointed by the Governor, and five members from the following state agencies:

  • Department of Agriculture (Chair)
  • Minnesota Management and Budget (Vice-chair)
  • State Auditor
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Employee and Economic Development

Powers and duties of the RFA Board include guiding the RFA’s purpose to develop the state’s agricultural resources by extending credit on farm real estate security and depreciable agricultural property (improvements, machinery, animals). The RFA carries out this purpose by purchasing participation interests in loans or selling Agricultural Development Revenue Bonds to agricultural lenders or individuals for the purchase of agricultural items. Another loan participation program provides for restructuring farmer agricultural debt. An additional program was added in 1994 providing assistance to lower equity farmers to purchase stock in a value-added processing cooperative.

Rural Finance Authority Board Members

  • Thom Petersen, Commissioner
    Department of Agriculture
    625 Robert Street North
    St. Paul, MN 55155-2538
    651-201-6219
    Thom.Petersen@state.mn.us
  • Jim Schowalter, Commissioner
    Minnesota Management and Budget
    400 Centennial Building
    St. Paul, MN 55155
    651-201-8015
    Alternate - Jennifer Hassemer; Assistant Commissioner, Debt Management;
    James.schowalter@state.mn.us, Jennifer.hassemer@state.mn.us
  • Julie Blaha, State Auditor
    525 Park Street, Suite 400
    St. Paul, MN 55103
    651-296-2524
    julie.blaha@osa.state.mn.us
  • Steve Grove, Commissioner
    Department of Employment and Economic Development
    1st National Bank Building
    332 Minnesota Street, Suite E200
    St. Paul, MN 55101-1351
    651-259-7112
    Alternate - Kevin McKinnon; Deputy Commissioner
    651-259-7111
    s.grove@state.mn.us, Kevin.mckinnon@state.mn.us
  • Grace Arnold, Commissioner
    Department of Commerce
    85 Seventh Place East, Suite 500
    St. Paul, MN 55101
    651-539-1441 / 651-539-1727
    Alternate - Max Zappia, Deputy Commissioner of Financial Institutions 
    Grace.arnold@state.mn.us, Max.zappia@state.mn.us
  • Harold Wolle, Jr.
    16595 473rd Avenue
    Madelia, MN 56062
    507-236-2181
    Hwolle1227@gmail.com

  • Shelly DePestel
    18942 County Road 18
    Lewiston, MN 55952
    507-261-7909
    Daleyfarm2@live.com

  • Carol Anderson
    14235 115th Avenue NE,
    Foley, MN 56329
    320-492-1663
    ander@fallsnet.com
  • Gary Wertish
    26416 County Road 17
    Renville, MN 56284
    651-262-7128
    gary@mfu.org
  • Eric Sannerud
    8505 95th St. N.E.,
    Foley, MN 56329
    952-201-4227
    ericsannerud@gmail.com
  • 1 Position Open

2024 Board Meeting Dates

  • January 10
  • February 14
  • March 13
  • April 8
  • May 8
  • June 12
  • July 10
  • August 14
  • September 11
  • October 9
  • November 13
  • December 11