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Mediation provides assistance to farmers facing financial difficulties

pdf fileAgDM Newsletter
March 2017

When confronted with on-farm hardship, there are ways for farmers to seek help to remedy these situations. Mediation is an option available to farmers as they work with their creditors to find a mutually beneficial solution to a delinquent secured agricultural debt of $20,000 or more.

As the farming community has worked through several years of lower commodity prices, some farmers have seen their balance sheets erode and financial stress has increased, leading to financial problems. Farm mediation provides a confidential approach to negotiate settlements to financial disputes that allows all parties to come together to construct a plan to settle the financial issues.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has partnered with Iowa Mediation Service to create a video "Understanding Farm Mediation" providing information and tips to help farmers better understand the mediation process. The video describes the mediation process while also discussing how to prepare for mediation. A companion video called "Tips for Managing Margins" includes information on how to survive these challenging economic times.

ISUEO video helps explain process, requirements of mediationWhile mediation is available should it be needed, ISU Extension and Outreach provides financial resources to help farmers create a financial plan for their operation.

  1. The Iowa Concern Hotline provides free legal information to both rural and urban Iowans. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-800-447-1985.
  2. The Financial section of the Ag Decision Maker website includes Information Files and Decision Tools for understanding and analyzing financial statement.
  3. The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation provides information about the application of developments in agricultural law and taxation.
  4. Farm Financial Associates are available to provide a no-cost look at a farm’s complete financial situation.
  5. The Beginning Farmer Center helps inform and support those who are new to farming. It also works with established farmers on succession planning for when they leave the industry.

 

Chad E. Hart, extension economist, Iowa State University, 515-294-9911, chart@iastate.edu