A farm mediation bill that was signed into law last week by Governor Tim Walz gives farmers a temporary extension to mediate financial problems with their lenders to 150 days or December 1st, whichever is later. Before the bill’s passage, farmers had 90 days to mediate their situation. The bill passed both the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives with unanimous support, something rare in today’s politics.

Matthew Sheets, farm crisis organizer with the Land Stewardship Project, told the KMRS Community Connection that the group spent the last few months putting forward a farm crisis campaign, which attracted over 580 people who came across eight meetings across the state.

“After COVID-19 and through the work that we’ve been doing in the Farm Crisis Campaign, we’ve connected with elected officials from representatives to federal officials to the governor about 4,000 times to lift up these pieces that farmers themselves have identified as needs,” said Sheets.

Sheets said the Land Stewardship Project emphasized the impact of the farm crisis and put forth solutions to get the region to a stable farm economy, which he suggested appealed to the legislators. They also did a lot of lobbying, meeting with 66 elected officials even after COVID-19 restrictions were put in place (presumably virtual).

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