U of M Extension offering free financial consulting to farmers

With four years of low commodity prices and no clear sign of a turnaround, University of Minnesota Extension services has started offering one-to-one financial counseling to farmers in financial stress at no cost.

The free service is offered in response to a sharp uptick in requests for Extension to offer financial consulting, according to Kevin Klair, who is an extension professor in the department of applied economics.

Klair said financial stress has increased rapidly since 2013,

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MCGA elects DeGraff farmer Kirby Hettver president

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) board of directors recently elected Kirby Hettver as its new president for 2017-2018 at its September meeting. Hettver grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa on his farm in DeGraff, Minn.

Hettver is a fifth-generation farmer who has served on the MCGA board of directors since 2014. He has previously served as first vice president and secretary on the board. Hettver’s term began Oct. 1 and lasts one year.

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MCGA member receives national honor from Agriculture Future of America

Minnesota Corn Growers Association member Joel Mathiowetz was awarded the Agriculture Future of America “Young Leader in Agriculture” award. The Morgan, Minn., farmer received the award for his longtime contributions to agriculture and youth development.

Mathiowetz, who raises corn, soybean, peas and lambs, is a fifth generation farmer and a member of AFA for more than 20 years. When Mathiowetz first joined AFA it was an opportunity to speak with other farmer leaders during an economic downturn for farmers in 1998.

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Buffer Alternative Practices

Buffer Law deadline for compliance is Nov. 1

The deadline for farmers to comply with the Minnesota Buffer Law is less than a month away.

By Nov. 1, the law requires farmers to install a 50-foot vegetative buffer on all public waters, or file for a waiver that extends the deadline. By Nov. 1, 2018, farmers must have a 16.5-foot buffer on all public ditches.

Prior to Nov. 1, farmers are encouraged to visit their local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) office to discuss options for compliance and implementation under Minnesota’s buffer law.

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Twin Cities Moms group celebrates farmers, local food at CommonGround dinner

(Photo by Danielle Anderson)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Les and Jeanne Anderson and their three adult daughters, Danielle, Kelsey (and fiancé Jake) and Kirsten, welcomed fifty moms from the Twin Cities out to their corn and soybean farm in Welch last week. The metro area women spent the late afternoon learning about modern agriculture.

“Every year we’re growing more food, with less fertilizer per bushel,” says Les Anderson as he led guests on a tour of the farm,

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