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Farm Transfer and Estate Planning Attorneys

By Megan Roberts, Extension Educator


If you have not already identified an attorney to help you through the legal aspects of the farm transfer and estate process, you may be wondering how to find a qualified attorney. One possibility is to utilize online search tools from professional associations. Attorneys self-select into these organizations for specialized professional development. The following suggestions are not intended as advertising for any attorney or organization nor meant to be a referral or recommendation of any attorney.
One national professional organization associated with estate planning and elder law is the Wealth Counsel. To find members of the Wealth Council visit: www.estateplanning.com. Once on the site, go to the upper right of the page and click “Find a Planning Professional.” On the next page, you can enter the zip code of your mailing address and select the radius of the search up to 100 miles of your location. You may also search for attorneys by individual M…
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Women in Ag Network's November Feature

By Alatheia Stenvik, Program Coordinator


This month, we continue our interview series featuring a woman involved in Minnesotan agriculture. Our November 2018 "Women in Ag Feature" is Laura Frerichs. Laura owns an organic vegetable farm with her husband. She operates a 200-member CSA program and supports other marketing channels as well. She explains her journey, struggles, and management techniques needed to become the 40-acre organic vegetable farm she operates today.

WAGN: Tell us about your career/farm. Laura: I co-own and operate a 40-acre organic vegetable farm, Loon Organics, in Hutchinson, MN with my husband, Adam Cullip and our two boys, Eli (7) and William (2). I started working on organic vegetable farms after graduating from Grinnell College in Iowa with an anthropology degree. Initially I was attracted to farming to learn more about growing my own food and considered going to work in sustainable development abroad, but thought I should get some farm experience first…

Does helping the next generation start farming improve their profit potential?

By Joleen C. Hadrich and C. Robert Holcomb


Farmers are entrepreneurs and finding the resources to start their operation can have direct implications on their financial success over time, which is the topic of the second installment of the “Top Farmer” newsletter series. Of the 334 survey respondents, 18% of the farms started independently without any help from family, 47% reported receiving help from their parents while operating their own farm independently, 25% are currently farming with family members in a partnership, and the remaining 10% used other strategies to start farming.
These statistics differ when we split the sample between the 20% most profitable and 20% least profitable farms, measured by the adjusted net farm income ratio.Thirty percent of the least profitable farms reported starting their farming operation on their own, while only 13% of the most profitable started on their own without assistance.Over half (60%) of the most profitable farms received help from their pa…

What is a Fair Farm Rental Agreement?

By David Bau, Extension Educator
Landlords, Farmers, Agri-Business Professionals should make plans to attend one of the informative meetings being held across Central and Southern Minnesota. These free meetings are being provided by the University of Minnesota Extension. Farmer profits are low or negative and farm land rental rates declined slightly while commodity prices have decreased significantly. Determining a fair profitable farm rental agreement is a challenge in today’s economy with recent record corn and soybean prices and record farm land values as recently as 2012 but commodity prices continued to decline since then.

Negotiating a fair rental agreement that satisfies the land owner and the farmer is a challenge. David Bau and Nathan Hulinsky, Extension Educators in Ag Business Management, will provide several ways; by examples, fact sheets and worksheets to determine a fair farm land rental rate for both parties.

Topics covered at the meetings will include local historic an…

2018 Fall Farm Rental Workshop Schedule

Women in Ag Network's October Feature

By Megan Roberts, Extension Educator
Our October 2018 "Woman in Ag" feature is Michelle Page. Michelle has dual roles. She is both the Executive Officer for Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA), and she is a cattle farmer in northern Minnesota. Michelle balances a lot each week, including a six hundred mile roundtrip commute! As I read Michelle’s responses, I was impressed by her commitment to sharing her 40 years of career experiences and knowledge with others in agriculture, particularly those in the early stages of their careers. Michelle shares more about herself in her responses below.
WAGN: Tell us about your career and farm. Michelle: I am currently the Executive Officer for the Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA) in St. Paul.  I have worked for FSA for 40 years in a variety of positions.  My FSA career began in Crookston, MN as a Program Technician in the West Polk FSA Office, serving in that capacity for 25 years.  I was hired as a manager trainee in 2002 and served as …

Farmers still have time to sign up for corn settlement payments

By David Bau, Extension Educator

A year with slumping crop prices seems like an odd time to leave money on the table. So far, that’s what’s happening with the $1.51 billion settlement of a nationwide class action lawsuit against Syngenta. Most U.S. corn farmers are eligible, and the deadline is October 12.

Last spring, 643,000 notices went out to farmers who can submit claims. Most haven’t.
Farmers who grew corn sold between September 15, 2013, and April 10, 2018, can submit claims by going to CornSeedSettlement.com.

Sign up only takes a matter of minutes and hopefully there will be a rush to submit claims before harvest. The Settlement may affect your rights if you are: (1) a Corn Producer; (2) a Grain Handling Facility; (3) an Ethanol Production Facility or (4) Landlords sharing in the risk of producing corn. To stay in the Settlement and get paid, submit an eligible Claim by October 12, 2018.

Each farm’s claim is based on the annual acreage report submitted to the Farm Service Agen…