The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding Minnesota farmers and ag lending institutions that the state legislature extended the length of mediation available for farmers in the Farmer-Lender Mediation Program from 90 to 150 days. Minnesota farmers that are in debt can renegotiate, restructure, or resolve farm debt through mandatory Farmer-Lender Mediation. Mandatory mediation means that creditors cannot start a proceeding to collect a debt against agricultural property until an offer of mediation has been extended and, if the farmer so chooses, completed.
“I want to make sure that farmers and their ag lending institutions know that the mediation period was extended by 60 days to 150 days,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “This is a critical program for farmers – especially now when COVID-19 has caused the closing of agricultural markets. Having sixty more days to renegotiate or restructure will be a huge help in many cases.”
For more information and assistance, farmers can contact the MDA’s Farm Advocate Program at www.mda.state.mn.us/farmadvocates or the University of Minnesota Extension https://extension.umn.edu/get-help/farmer-lender-mediation.
Margaret Hart, MDA Communications