The Land Stewardship Project is dedicated to fighting for a farm and food system rooted in environmental sustainability, democracy, and economic justice for rural communities. Part of our fight for economic justice in farming has been giving farms and farm families the time they need to financially recover from the effects of a farm economy that favors large operations, and the compounding economic pressures the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. Farmers still need time to recover and the Legislature can give them that time in today’s special session, but they need to hear from you!
As part of the response to the COVID-19 economic crisis last spring, the Minnesota Legislature unanimously passed a bill brought forward by the Land Stewardship Project to extend the time frame for the right to Farmer-Lender Mediation from 90 days to 150 days or December 1, 2020, whichever is later.
This extension was a vital response measure that allowed for farmers to weather the compounding economic crises affecting farming, and ensured that they would not lose their homes or farms during harvest and in the middle of a pandemic. Now, with the passage of the original deadline, we have about 700 farmers currently in mediation with their creditors, but are still far from done with the economic impacts the COVID-19 pandemic is having on farmers and rural communities.
We need to give farmers and the families that depend on farming income more time to financially recover so those 700 farms aren’t pushed off the land by this pandemic. We need to extend farmer-lender mediation through February 15, 2021.
We need to all work together to ensure that our loved ones, our communities, and the land that we depend on come out of this crisis healthy and vibrant. That means working together to promote the best and fighting the worst. We are stronger when we work together.