Farmer-Lender Mediation Task Force
Active dates:2016 - 2017
Function: The commissioner of agriculture must convene an advisory task force to provide recommendations to the legislature regarding the state's Farmer-Lender Mediation Act.
No later than February 1, 2017, the commissioner must report the task force's recommendations to the legislative committees with jurisdiction over agriculture policy and finance.
The Farmer-Lender Mediation Act was passed by the Legislature and signed into law in 1986 to help address the financial crisis that Minnesota farmers were facing. The Farmer-Lender Mediation Act gives farmers the opportunity to renegotiate, restructure, or resolve farm debt through mediation. Mandatory mediation means that creditors cannot start a proceeding to enforce a debt against agricultural property until an offer of mediation has been extended and, if the farmer so chooses, completed. Mediation is executed by a trained neutral facilitator to assist in the negotiations between or among parties in a dispute.
In 2016, the Minnesota Legislature discussed the Farmer-Lender Mediation Act and created a task force to evaluate the program. Laws of Minnesota 2016, chapter 184, section 10 extended the expiration date for the Act to June 30, 2018. The expiration date for the Act has regularly been extended, which can be tracked at Minnesota Statutes 583.215.
Currently, the Farmer-Lender Mediation program is operated by the University of Minnesota Extension and allows farmers the opportunity to renegotiate, restructure, or resolve farm debt through the use of a trained neutral facilitator.
The task force must be comprised of 14 members, including the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, one farm advocate appointed by the commissioner who is responsible for mediating debt between farmers and lenders, one adult farm business management instructor appointed by the commissioner, and three farmers appointed by the commissioner, at least one of whom is a beginning or nontraditional farmer and at least one of whom has personal experience with the farmer-lender mediation program.
The remaining membership of the task force consists of one member appointed by each of the following entities: Minnesota Farm Bureau; Minnesota Farmers Union; Minnesota Bankers Association; Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota; Farm Credit Services - Minnesota State Federation; Minnesota Credit Union Network; Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Association; and University of Minnesota Extension.
Dave Frederickson, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
David Hesse, Farm Advocate
Jim Molenaar, Farm Business Management Instructor
Pakou Hang, Farmer
Jessica Hofschulte, Farmer
Tim Velde, Farmer
Kevin Paap,Minnesota Farm Bureau
Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union
Mark Miedtke, Minnesota Bankers Association
Scott Wakefield, Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota
Jessica Fyre, Farm Credit Services
Mike Wehlage, Minnesota Credit Union
Mike St. Onge, Minnesota-South Dakota Equipment Dealers Association
Kent Olson, University of Minnesota Extension
The Farmer-Lender Mediation Act first passed in 1986. The library has a detailed record of the act's progress through the legislature in 1986 on file in the agency notebook.
Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Record last updated:
Additional print information on this group may be available in the
Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for
assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.