Resources for financially stressful times on the farm
The stress in farming has always existed, but levels can soar during times of high costs and low returns. University of Minnesota Extension recommends some programs that can help farmers and their family members, as well as those who work closely with them:
- Extension offers free, confidential one-to-one counseling for farmers experiencing financial stress. To set up a confidential appointment with an experienced Extension farm financial analyst, call the Farm Information Line at 1-800-232-9077.
- Minnesota Farm Advocates has been supported by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture since 1984. There is no charge or fee for Farm Advocate assistance. Farm Advocates share their expertise and help farmers understand 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. Farm Advocates have a network of attorneys, accountants, human service professionals, educators and other sources of information and services.
- Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline, 833-600-2570, ext.1. Free, confidential, 24 hours and seven days a week. Calls are answered by trained staff and volunteers located here in Minnesota. Call if you or someone you know is struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to somebody you don’t know.
- Extension’s farm finance website has many tools for managing a farm business, including negotiating rent, farm transition planning, crop budget tools and machinery cost estimates.
- Farmer-Lender Mediation (FLM) is an Extension program that provides trained, neutral mediators work to find solutions to financial issues between farmers and their lenders. The mediation is confidential. More details on FLM are available by calling 218-935-5785.
Other resources are available to Minnesota farmers through organizations like Farmers Legal Action Group, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Farm Business Management, Crisis Connection and personal counseling.