As people across Minnesota and around the world face a global health pandemic, the reality of the farm crisis grows starker and more urgent. Small- to mid-sized farmers who strengthen our rural economies and act as stewards of the land and water face greater uncertainty in the production and distribution of the food we depend on.
Now, more than ever, we recognize our interdependence — in our food system and in our health as a people. In this shortened legislative session, our elected officials will enact emergency relief to address the impact of Covid-19, but we also need immediate action to prevent Minnesota families from losing their farms.
Please take two minutes to let your elected officials know that during this crisis, funding for family farmers and a just food system is a priority.
Contact Your Legislators Now!
Addressing the Farm Crisis
Land Stewardship Project members and supporters have led forums, signed petitions and called legislators to build and advocate for an agenda that pulls farmers out of crisis. Because of this work, we have bipartisan support for several initiatives that, if passed into law, would provide significant relief to family farms.
• Funding for Farm Advocates:
– SF 4177 (Dahms) and HF 4104 (Brand) increase one-time funding for the Farm Advocates program by $300,000.
– Farm Advocates work with legal advisers to keep farmers on the land when faced with foreclosure.
• Grant Program for Loan Restructuring:
– SF 3580 (Goggin) and HF 3739 (Lippert) create a grant program to cover the origination fee of loan restructuring for farmers in mediation.
Covid-19 Response for Farmers in Mediation
Finally, Covid-19 restrictions during the declared Peacetime Emergency necessitate the halt of mediation efforts underway. Legal deadlines cannot be met if farmers and their advocates cannot meet with lenders to develop agreements. As part of the Governor’s Covid-19 response, it is crucial to halt new and ongoing farm foreclosures and pause the timeline in formal mediation processes already underway.
Hearing from constituents matters. When we come together to make our voices heard, we change what is politically possible.