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Minnesota programs provide help for emerging farmers, farm transitions

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Emerging Farmers’ Working Group is seeking volunteer members. The department also is partnering with the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation and Minnesota Dairy Initiative to help farmers with farm transition and succession planning.

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ST. PAUL — Want to help new farmers get established? Minnesota is looking for volunteers.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Emerging Farmers’ Working Group has openings for nine volunteer members. Minnesotans interested in serving a two-year term to make it easier for new farmers to create or sustain an agricultural business should apply by Sept. 8.

“The work of the Emerging Farmers’ Working Group is critically important in helping identify barriers to entering the field of agriculture and create resources to support new and emerging farmers in our state,” Assistant MDA Commissioner Patrice Bailey said in a news release. “We need members of diverse communities and varying backgrounds and experiences to advise the MDA and shape the future of farming in Minnesota.”

The deadline to apply for membership in the emerging farmers group is 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 8 The MDA website has the membership application and more information on the EFWG page . Questions also can be emailed to the Emerging Farmer Office at mda.emerging.farmers@state.mn.us .

Farm transition help

Minnesota farmers looking to enter or exit farming also have new resources available. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is partnering with the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation and Minnesota Dairy Initiative to help farmers with farm transition and succession planning.


Areas such as property law, property transfer, establishment and dissolution of partnerships, leases and other contracts, accounting, lending, psychological or spiritual support, and other types of support are available.

The Farm Bureau team can work with all Minnesota farmers, regardless of membership status with the Farm Bureau. Contact Paul Lanoue at 651-768-2100 or paul.lanoue@fbmn.org for more information.

Minnesota dairy farmers can work with the MDI. Contact Emily Mollenhauer (651) 764-0309 or emmollenhauer@gmail.com for more information.

This service is available on a first-come, first-served basis until funding for the fiscal year runs out. Assistance is provided until farmers are comfortable continuing on their own.

Minnesota farmers can also use the MDA’s FarmLink program at any time to connect farmers looking to exit farming with prospective buyers or renters looking to enter farming, and experienced farmers with beginning farmers.

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