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House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division 1/31/19


>>[GAVEL]>>CHAIR POPPE: GOOD MORNING. I WILL CALL THE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FINANCE AND POLICY DIVISION TO ORDER. WILL COME AGAIN. WE ARE REALLY COLD DAY SO I APPRECIATE WE HAVE PEOPLE THAT HAVE TRAVELED HERE TO SPEND — I KNOW IT’S SOMEWHAT CHALLENGING FOR PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE TRIP AND I KNOW WE HAVE SOME PRESENTERS WE MAY HAVE SOME ADDITIONS OR CORRECTIONS OR CHANGES TO THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE TO PRESENT BUT I DO APPRECIATE THAT WE HAVE THE PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE AS WELL AS MEMBERS HERE CAN SO THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO HEAR ABOUT FARM FINANCE IN THE CHALLENGING TIMES AND QUITE LITERALLY; WEATHERING THE STORM AS WE TALK ABOUT THE COLD WEATHER AS WELL AS OTHER ASPECTS OF FARMING AND AGRICULTURE DURING SOME OF THESE MORE CHALLENGING TIMES. WE HAVE A NUMBER PEOPLE WHO WILL PRESENT TO US . TOWARD THE END WE WILL HAVE A BILL REPRESENTATIVE BRAND HAS A BILL THAT WE WILL BE HEARING AS WELL. BUT WE ARE GOING TO START OUT WITH THE MINUTES. REPRESENTATIVE BAHR WOULD YOU MOVE TO APPROVE THE MINUTES TO YES; MME. CHAIR MOVED TO APPROVE THE MINUTES TO>>CHAIR POPPE: ALL RIGHT. ANY ADDITIONS OR CORRECTIONS? SEEING NONE ALL THOSE IN FAVOR SAY; AYE. [CHORUS OF AYES.] THE MOTION PREVAILS. THE MINUTES ARE PROVED>>[GAVEL]>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. WE WILL TURN IT OVER WE DO WANT TO HEAR FROM [INAUDIBLE] IS HERE FROM [INAUDIBLE] FINANCIAL AND AG ECONOMY FROM OUR LENDER’S POINT OF VIEW.WELCOME TO THE COMMITTEE. PLEASE TO HAVE YOU HERE.>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE; MY NAME IS JERRY — VICE PRESIDENT OF [INAUDIBLE] APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE INSIDE TODAY AS WE ALL DO. ANYWAY; I WANT TO PROVIDE A BIT OF AN OVARY FROM THE CREDIT STANDPOINT COULD I WORK FOR COMPU FINANCIAL BUT ALSO REPRESENTING FARM CREDIT INSTITUTIONS THAT SERVE MINNESOTA WHICH INCLUDES [INAUDIBLE] AND ALSO ADD COUNTRY. SO PART OF MY TESTIMONY WILL BE– A LITTLE BACKGROUND OF THE FARM CREDIT SYSTEM TO START A [INAUDIBLE] AT THE TOMB FARM CREDIT MEMBER OWNED COOPERATIVES PROVIDING CREDIT AND FINANCIAL SERVICES TO HELP SUPPORT AGRICULTURE AND RURAL COMMITTEES ARE MINNESOTA ACQUIRED AS PART OF THE FARM CREDIT SYSTEM THE NATIONAL FARM CREDIT SYSTEM WHICH IS ASSOCIATION THAT SERVES OVER 500;000 NUMBER MEMBER BORROWERS NATIONWIDE PROVIDING OVER 250 BILLION LOANS AND SERVICE. [INAUDIBLE] CHARTERED ARE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EXCLUSIVELY DEDICATE TO SUPPORTING AGRICULTURE IN RURAL COMMITTEES AND WE THE LARGEST SUCH A LETTER PROVIDING MORE THAN A THIRD OF THE CREDIT TO FARMERS [INAUDIBLE] AROUND THE COUNTRY WE MAINTAIN FINANCIAL STRENGTH OVER THE YEARS I COULD DO TO SERVE OUR CUSTOMERS IN BOTH GOOD TIMES AND BAD AND OVERALL HAVE A HIGH QUALITY LOAN PORTFOLIO. AS MENTIONED WE REMEMBER 100 WERE OWNED BY THE CUSTOMERS WE SERVE. OUR MEMBERS HAVE A SAY IN THE ASSOCIATION IN OUR F INANCIAL PERFORMANCE. OFTEN THE RESULT IN THE PAY MENT [INAUDIBLE] DIVIDENDS TO OUR MEMBERS COULD YOU RUN BY A BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRIMARILY FARMER DIRECTORS AS WELL AS SOME OUTSIDE BOARD MEMBERS AS WELL TO PROVIDE SPECIFIC AREAS OF DIFFERENT EXPERTISE AND PERSPECTIVES [INAUDIBLE] AND AGAIN THE FARM CREDIT SYSTEM IS REALLY PART OF OVER 60 ASSOCIATIONS THAT ARE FARMERS IN RURAL AMERICA NATIONWIDE. A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT COMP PEER FINANCIAL. WE WERE FORMEDBACK IN 2017 AS A RESULT OF A MERGER BETWEEN AG FINANCIAL SERVICES. FIRST FARM CREDIT SERVICES WHICH IS OUT OF ILLINOIS AND [INAUDIBLE] FINANCIAL OUT OF WISCONSIN. OUR VISION IS TO BE A TRUSTED FINANCIAL SERVICES PROVIDER FOR AGRICULTURE IN RURAL AMERICA BUT OUR MISSION IS TO WHICH AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL AMERICA AND REALLY OPERATE IN 144 COUNTIES IN MINNESOTA ILLINOIS AND WISCONSIN ABOUT 42;000 CLIENTS AND MEMBER OWNERS AND AROUND 1200 EMPLOYEES. THROUGHOUT THE THREE STATES. LAST BACKGROUND SLIDE I’LL GIVE YOU THIS JUST GIVES YOU A SENSE OF OUR CHARACTER AND WE SHOULD POINT OUT THAT THE GREEN PART OF MINNESOTA YOU SEE THERE IS COMP YOUR FINANCIAL TERRITORY? AS I MENTIONED I COUNTRY IS THE OTHER FARM CREDIT ASSOCIATION THAT SERVES AGRICULTURE AND RURAL COMMITTEES IN MINNESOTA THEY ARE IN THE GRAY THE WESTERN NORTHWEST SECTION OF MINNESOTA ON A MAP. SO THAT THEIR TERRITORY AND OURS IS IN THE GREEN AREA. SO A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CURRENT ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT FROM THE [INAUDIBLE] FOR COMP PEER. I THINK OVERALL THE FARM CREDIT SYSTEM IS IN GOOD SHAPE FINANCIALLY. WE CERTAINLY ARE SEEN STRESS IN THE AG PORTFOLIO AND WE CONTINUE TO EXPECT TO SEE THAT IN 2019. [INAUDIBLE] ACROSS THE BOARD. THOSE OF YOU THAT KNOW AGRICULTURE IS A VERY CYCLICAL BUSINESS COULD ONE OF OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM MEMBERS I THINK DESCRIBE THE SITUATION PRETTY WELL A FEW MONTHS AGO WHEN HE SAID WE ARE IN THE FIFTH YEAR OF A THREE-YEAR DOWNTURN. SO WE RECOGNIZE IT THAT AGRICULTURE IS CYCLICAL IS BEGINNING TO PILE UP HERE AND WERE STARTING TO SEE THAT FINANCIAL STRESS FOR A NUMBER OF OUR FARMER BORROWERS. IN THE DAIRY SECTOR IS THE MOST IMPACT AND OF THIS COMMUNITY COMMITTEE HAD A FURTHER HEARING FROM MINNESOTA MILK LAST WEEK IN TERMS OF THE CHALLENGES OF THE DAIRY SECTOR BUT WE SEE THAT AS WELL. OBVIOUSLY WE OPERATE IN WISCONSIN AS WELL AS WE SEE THIS STRESS THERE’S WE CERTAINLY RECOGNIZE THAT THE SECTOR THAT’S MOST IMPACTED A LOT OF [INAUDIBLE] FOR THE CURRENT SITUATION I THINK PART OF IT IS OF COURSE LOW COMMODITY PRICES; HIGH SUPPLIES; CERTAINLY THE UNCERTAINTY WITH THE TRADE AND TARIFF SITUATION IS A BIG DEPRESSION IF YOU WILL ON COMMODITY PRICES AT THE MOMENT. WE WANT TO BE OPTIMISTIC AND WE WILL CERTAINLY; THIS WEEK; US AND CHINA NEGOTIATED OUR TRYING TO RESOLVE SOME OF THE ISSUES WITH THE TARIFF THE SITUATION THERE THAT WE HAVE A NEW AGREEMENT FOR NEW NAFTA AGREEMENT AND HOPEFULLY WILL GET BEFORE CONGRESS SOMETIME THIS YEAR. THE SOUL OF TERRACE WHO WERE PLACED ON MANY AG PRODUCTS [INAUDIBLE] EXPORT MARKET AND THAT HAS CERTAINLY DEPRESSED PRICES AND WE WILL SEE ONLY SEE SOME MOVEMENT ON THAT HERE THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. AS A RESULT OF THAT [INAUDIBLE] PRICES FOR COMMODITIES ARE AT A LOW POINT THIS AT THIS POINT AND REALLY IS A MENTIONED IS NOT A PROFILE IF YOU WILL. IT AFFECTS ALL DIFFERENT TYPES AND SIZES OF FARMERS REGARDLESS OF AGE; SIZE; IT IS ALL ABOVE BOARD BOARD. IT’S REALLY HELPS IF YOU HAVE A GOOD CROP AND WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED FOR THE MOST PART OVER THE YEARS MINNESOTA TO HAVE GOOD CROPS BUT IN SOME PARTS OF MINNESOTA LAST YEAR IS NOT THE CASE. PARTICULARLY; IN SOUTHERN MINNESOTA. SO YOU COUPLE LOW PRICES WITH NOT MUCH OF A CROP THAT ADDS ADDITIONAL STRESS AS WELL. IF THERE’S A PIECE OF GOOD NEWS IN THIS; CONGRESS DID PASS A NEW FARM BILL LAST DECEMBER AND WAS SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT. MOST WOULD DESCRIBE THAT AND I WOULD DESCRIBE IT IT AS WELL; IT WASN’T A REVOLUTIONARY FARM BILL BUT HAD [INAUDIBLE] BUT I THINK WILL BE SOME GOOD THINGS IN THERE FOR A NUMBER OF OUR FARMERS DAIRY IN PARTICULAR; SMALLER DAIRY FARMS I THINK WE’LL SEE SOME GOOD RELIEF. WE SOME NEW OPTIONS FOR FARMERSGROWING COMMODITIES LIKE CORN AND SOYBEANS AND WHEAT AND THEY WILL SEE SOME OPTIONS THAT WE THINK WILL BE HOPEFUL GOING INTO 2019 PLANTING SEASON. THE UNFORTUNATE PART; OF COURSE; AS YOU KNOW WITH THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN THAT AFFECTED AGENCIES LIKE USDA SO WHETHER IT’S [INAUDIBLE] DEVELOPING THE NEW RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR THE FARM BILL PROVISIONS WERE GETTING INFORMATION OUT TO GROVER’S MOTHER HAS BEEN DELAYED NOW SINCE THEY BEEN CLOSED OFF FROM US FOR US. WE ARE GLAD THEY’RE BACK IN BUSINESS BUT [INAUDIBLE] GOOD UNTIL FEBRUARY FOR FEBRUARY 15 [INAUDIBLE] AND THIS IS A RESOLUTION TO THE BUDGET RESOLUTION. WE ARE HOPING THEY STAY OPEN AND WE KNOW THERE COMMITTED TO MOVING THE FARM BILL AND WORK WITH OUR CUSTOMERS AS WELL AS OUR ASSOCIATION. THAT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES OUT TO FARMERS.SO AS I MENTIONED; THE FARM CREDIT SYSTEM IS VERY COMMITTED TO THE LONG-TERM FOR OUR CUSTOMERS. WE ARE REALLY TRYING TO BE PROACTIVE IN MORE THAN JUST LETTERS BUT WE LOOK AT THE OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP OUR CUSTOMERS THROUGH GOOD TIMES AND BAD WE ARE CERTAINLY IN THOSE CHALLENGING TIMES RIGHT NOW BUT A LOT OF THE STRESS COMES DOWN TO HELPING REVIEW INFORMATION WITH OUR CLIENTS TWO OF THEM BETTER UNDERSTAND THE COST OF PRODUCTION AND WAYS THEY CAN IMPROVE THEIR OPERATIONS. RECORD-KEEPING; I KNOW WE SAY A LOT BUT IT BECOME SO IMPORTANT PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU HAVE THESE TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES TO KNOW WHERE YOUR CUSTOM PRODUCTIONS ARE.. BEING OPEN TO LOOKING AT WAYS TO CHANGE SOME THINGS. SO WE ARE VERY DEDICATED. OUR TEAM IS TO MEET WITH OUR FARMER CUSTOMERS ONE-ON-ONE AND GO OVER THEIR OPERATIONS ; GO OVER THEIR FINANCIALS. WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME BENCHMARKING THEIR OPERATIONS WITH OTHER OPERATIONS LIKE THEM. WE USE FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT NUMBERS BUT WE USE OTHER CLIENT INFORMATION TO REALLY LOOK FOR THOSE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM TO TAKE ON NEW ENTERPRISES; MANAGE COSTS; MAKE SOME CHANGES .. THE BOTTOM LINE IS OUR GOAL IS TO POSITION OUR CUSTOMERS TO HELP THEM MAKE THE BEST FINANCIAL DECISIONS FOR BOTH A SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FARMING OPERATIONS. WE RECOGNIZE THAT WE SOME STRESS THIS YEAR THAT COMES DOWN TO FINANCING IT WILL THEY GET LOANS IN THE SPRING? WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP THEM WORK THROUGH THE SITUATION WHETHER IT IS PRINCIPAL DEFERMENT; THE AMORTIZING LOANS;. I DO THINK THIS GETS BACK TO THE FARM BILL; THERE’S GOING TO BE A LOT OF INTEREST THIS SPRING ALREADY IS ALREADY IN SOME OF USDA PROGRAMS PARTICULAR GUARANTEED LOAN PROGRAM. [INAUDIBLE] KIND OF ON THE FENCE SO TO SPEAK BUT WE CAN CAPITALIZE ON THOSE PROGRAMS THAT HELP THEM FINANCING GOING INTO 2019. THE OTHER THING WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH FUN CREDIT ASSOCIATIONS IS JUST DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP EDUCATE AND HELP IMPROVE OUR CUSTOMERS IN TERMS OF RISK MANAGEMENT; MARKETING; FINANCIAL ANALYSIS. WE ALSO SPENT A LOT OF TIME ON [INAUDIBLE] BEGINNING FARMERS BECAUSE THAT’S THE NEXT GENERATION AND WE [INAUDIBLE] WE’VE A GROUNDBREAKER’S PROGRAM THAT REALLY FOCUS ON YOUNG AND BEGINNING FARMERS IN OUR TERRITORY AND ALSO IN TERMS OF STRENGTHENING THE WOMEN’S ROLE IN AGRICULTURE VERY MUCH INVOLVED WITH [INAUDIBLE] AND DOING THE SAME SORT OF THING TO HELP WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE AS WELL. WE ALSO AS A COOPERATIVE AS YOU ALL KNOW WHERE THE BENEFITS OF [INAUDIBLE] WE’VE A PATRONAGE SYSTEM REALLY HELPS GET BACK TO OUR CUSTOMERS. WHEN TIMES ARE GOOD AND BAD ; BUT OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS LAST MONTH LOOKING AT THE FINANCIAL STRESS IN OUR CLIENTS DECIDED TO REALLY [INAUDIBLE] PATRONAGE DIVIDENDS WOULD GO BACK TO OUR CUSTOMERS AND 2019. SO WE ESTIMATE TOTAL PATRONAGE PAYMENT THIS YEAR WILL BE $150 MILLION WHICH IS A $42 MILLION INCREASE OVER 2018. SO I KNOW OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS IS VERY COMMITTED WORKING ON HELPING CUSTOMERS AND ALWAYS IMPOSSIBLE IN CLUED INTO OUR PATRONAGE PROGRAM. MENTAL HEALTH; I KNOW THIS COMMITTEE SPENT SOME TIME LAST WEEK CREATING TESTIMONY. WERE AWARE OF THE STRESS OF MANY CUSTOMERS AND MANY FARMERS RIGHT NOW. THAT’S AN IMPORTANT PRIORITY FOR OUR SYSTEM AS WELL. YOU’VE DONE A LOT OF TRAINING FOR A LOT OF EMPLOYEES TO SPOT ISSUES WITH CUSTOMERS AND HELP THEM DEAL WITH FINANCIAL STRESS IN THEIR OPERATIONS. CERTAINLY; ON BEHALF OF BOTH [INAUDIBLE] AND COMP PEER WORK SUPPORTIVE OF ADDITIONAL STATE ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS DEAL WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES RIGHT NOW. WE WANT TO BE PART OF THAT EFFORT TO UP SUPPORT FARMERS DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES. SO MME. CHAIR; I WILL STOP FOR NOW. BE HAPPY TO TAKE ANY QUESTIONS AND AGAIN THANK YOU>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. ANY QUESTIONS? REPRESENTATIVE HANSEN>>REPRESENTATIVE HANSEN: THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR AND MR. — OF THEM WRITING A CHECK TO YOU AT THE END OF THE MONTH HERE TODAY NOT YOU PERSONALLY BUT FOR PAYMENT BECAUSE I AM A CUSTOMER OF COMP AND WORKING WITH YOUR STAFF AS LAND BECOMES AVAILABLE I THINK THERE’S A CERTAIN AMOUNT THAT YOU WILL LOAN BASED ON CAPACITY BUT I’VE SEEN THE LAN OPTIONS IS THE PRICE GOES MUCH HIGHER BECAUSE IT IS VERY LARGE FARMERS WILL THINK YOU’RE GETTING A LOAN FROM YOU MOVE FROM COMP PEER BUT THEY ARE DRIVING UP LAND VA VALUES EVEN IN THIS THE PAIN 2-3 MONTH THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE THAN COMP PEER. SOME WONDERING HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THAT? BECAUSE THAT PREVENTS NEW FARMERS; WHETHER THEY ARE YOUNG OR OLD; THEY JUST CAN’T COMPETE. I KNOW SEVERAL THAT CANNOT COMPETE WITH SOME AND DRIVING UP WHEN VALUES WHICH ALSO DRIVES UP CASH GRANT. SOME WONDER WHAT YOU ARE SEEN; RELATING TO INFLATION LAND VALUES; EVEN IN THIS DIFFICULT ECONOMY AND HOW YOU AS COMP PEER ARE DOING THAT?>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE HANSEN THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION BUT DESPITE THE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES WE TALKED BUT THERE ARE FARMERS THERE STILL BIDDING FOR LAND AND I THINK A LOT OF THOSE LOCALIZED IN MANY CASES FROM WHAT I SEE MAYBE THAT’S ALWAYS THE CASE BUT GETTING BACK TO THE COST THING; IT’S VERY DIFFICULT FOR THE CASH FLOW PRICES THOSE LAND VALUES GOING UP [INAUDIBLE] I DON’T KNOW OF THE GOD OF ANSWER FOR YOU. BUT IT CERTAINLYIS WATCHING IT CAREFULLY. AS YOU KNOW; WHEN VALUES ARE ALSO PART OF THE HARVEST EQUITY AND SO PEOPLE [INAUDIBLE] IS IMPORTANT NOW; TO BUT I THINK IN MANY CASES FROM WHAT I AM SEEING ACROSS TERRITORIES OFTEN TIMES THOSE LAND PURCHASES OR THOSE DRIVING UP KIND OF A LOCALIZED PHENOMENA [INAUDIBLE] SO IT’S HARD TO REALLY ADDRESS THAT ON A BROAD SCALE.>>CHAIR POPPE: REPRESENTATIVE HANSEN>>REPRESENTATIVE HANSEN: MME. CHAIR COME I THINK IT’S AN ISSUE BECAUSE WE CAN DO A LOT OF PROGRAM WORK BUT IF SOMEBODY IS GOING TO — IF THEY’RE GOING TO GO UNTIL THEY GET IT IN THE MARKET IT’S REALLY HARD FOR PEOPLE TO GET STARTED TO COMPETE WITH THAT BECAUSE YOU CAN’T TAKE THE RISK RISKY LOANS THAT YOU CAN ONLY GO SO FAR. MY CONCERN IS THAT THOSE WHO’VE DRIVEN UP THE PRICE COME BACK TO US LATER ON AND COME BACK TO YOU WANT ASSISTANCE.>>CHAIR:>>CHAIR POPPE: IS CHALLENGING ECONOMIC [INAUDIBLE] REPRESENTATIVE KLEVORN>>REPRESENTATIVE KLEVORN: THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR AND MEMBERS. MY QUESTION IS EARLIER WE HEARD TESTIMONY ABOUT FARMS GET IN TROUBLE AND THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS IT HAS ON A FAMILY. BUT TO THE TESTIFIER SPOKE ABOUTONLY BEEN ABLE TO RECEIVE LOANS OF 55% OF THE PROPERTY VALUE;; WHICH I THINK IS REPRESENTATIVEHANSEN STATEMENT. SO MY QUESTION TO YOU IS IN YOUR LOAN AGREEMENT WITH YOUR FARMERS; TO USE MANDATORY ARBITRATION CLAUSES OR DO YOU USE MANDATORY MEDIATION CAUSES WANT TO KNOW THAT A FARMER IS IN TROUBLE AND NEEDS ASSISTANCE RESTRUCTURING THOSE LOANS?>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE ONE OF THE PROVISIONS OF FARM CREDIT ASSISTANCE IS SOMETHING CALLED THE BORROWER’S RIGHTS STIPULATION IF YOU LOOK AT IT AS A WAY GET INTO THOSE SITUATIONS THOSE CLEAR PROCESSES WE FOLLOW SO THERE’S NO SURPRISES. SO THAT IT’S TRANSPARENT. WE TRY TO IDENTIFY THIS COMES BEFORE THEY GET TO THE POINT WHERE THEY ARE REALLY IN TROUBLE HE GETS BACK TO WHAT I SAID; WE SPENT A LOT OF TIME; OUR TEAM DOES; WORKING WITH OUR CLIENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.. SO WE DON’T GET TO THAT POINT. THERE ARE SOME SPECIFICCAUSES IT UNDER OUR FEDERAL CHARTER OR BORROWERS RIGHTS. WE FOLLOW THEM VERY CLOSE.>>REPRESENTATIVE KLEVORN: SURMISED QUESTION STILL REMAINS. IN THE THESE RIGHTS THE PROCESS YOU MUST GO THROUGH IS A MANDATORY ARBITRATION WAS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MEDIATION IN THIS CLOSET?>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE I’M NOT SURE SPECIFICALLY WHAT’S IN THEIR CAN I JUST DON’T KNOW QUITE HONESTLY BUTTO THIS POINT WE HAVE NOT HAD A LOT OF THOSE BAD SITUATIONS GET. AND AGAIN COME I THINK WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR IN MANY CASES THESE ARE LONG-TERM CUSTOMERS. SO WE ARE NOT LOOKING TO HELP PEOPLE EXIT THE BUSINESS BUT IF WE CAN ALL HELP THEM.>>CHAIR POPPE: REPRESENTATIVE KLEVORN>>REPRESENTATIVE KLEVORN: PLEASE; ONE MARGIN. WHEN WE ARE TALKING WITH THE LOWER COMMODITY PRICES AND WE TALK ABOUT GARY BEING IN SO MUCH TROUBLE; I UNDERSTAND WE WANT FARMERS TO BE IN THE BUSINESS FOR A LONG TIME BUT IF YOU COULD PLEASE; FOLLOW UP WITH ME LATER AND LET ME KNOW IF THOSE RIIGHTS WITH THOSE PROCESSES HAVE MANDATORY ARBITRATION AND MEDIATION I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT.>>TESTIFIER: MME . CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE AM HAPPY TO. I ALSO SPENT A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE BORROWERS RIGHTS PROVISIONS WE HAVE>>REPRESENTATIVE KLEVORN: I WOULD APPRECIATE THAT.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. OTHER QUESTIONS? ALL RIGHT. REPRESENTATIVE’S BEHALF AND>>REPRESENTATIVE — I THINK ON THE AGENDA WE HAVE SOMEONE FROM THE FARMER MEDIATION AS WELL?>>CHAIR POPPE: YES. WELL THANK YOU FOR THE PRESENTATION. I KNOW THESE ARE CHALLENGING TIMES AND CHALLENGING TIMES FOR EVERYONE; BUT ECONOMIC SPECTRUM WHEN IT COMES TO FARMERS AND LENDERS AND PEOPLE HAVING THOSE CONVERSATIONS DURING THE TOUGH TIMES REGARDING THE CHALLENGES. SO APPRECIATECAME IN TODAY AND GIVE VARIES THE OVERVIEW I THINK WE ALL ARE BETTER EDUCATED NOW. SO; THANK YOU FOR THAT.>>TESTIFIER: THANK YOU.>>CHAIR POPPE: NEXT; WE ARE GOING TO HEAR FROM SOME TRENDS AND USAGE OF PROGRAMS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO SUPPORT FARMERS DURING DIFFICULT FINANCIAL TIMES. SO MATT MCDEVITT; FROM HIS COMING DOWN AS WELL AS KENT OLSON AND BRAD — WILL BE COMING ON. THANK YOU. SO I THINK YOU’LL BE ABLE TO HAVE YOU MAY BE ALL SEATED AND BE ABLE TO PROVIDE SOME INFORMATION TO US. JUST AS A NOTE; MR. –‘S PRESENTATION; THAT WILL BE ON THE WEBSITE. SO IF YOU WANTED TO BE ABLE TO REVIEW IT LATER. PLEASE; FEEL FREE TO DO THAT. WELCOME. TO THE COMMITTEE AND SO WE ARE GOING TO JUST HAVE YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELVES AS YOU MAKE YOUR PRESENTATION. WHO WANTS TO BEGIN?>>TESTIFIER: GOOD MORNING MME. CHAIR AND MEMBERS. THANK YOU FOR HAVING US HERE TODAY. MY NAME IS MATT MCDEVITT AG FFINANCE SUPERVISOR FOR THE ROLE FINANCE AUTHORITY. SO TODAY I’M GOING TO GO THROUGH SOME OF OUR PROGRAMS AND THEIR USAGE AND WHAT KIND OF AVAILABILITY WE HAVE AS FAR AS LOANS AND THAT GO. SO THE ROLE FINANCE AUTHORITY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1986 OUT OF THE LAST FARM CRISIS AND THAT STARTED WITH THE RESTRUCTURED LOAN. THEN OVER THE YEARS A NUMBER OF PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN ADDED TO UP SUPPORT AGRICULTURE IN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA. SO OUR MOST POPULAR PROGRAM WE WON’T GO TO EVERY SINGLE ONE BUT BEGINNING FARMER TO LOAN PROGRAM; WHICH HELPS FARMERS START OUT INFORMING COULD WE HAVE THE AGRICULTURAL IMPROVEMENT FOR BRICK PROGRAM THAT ALLOWS FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO FARMS. OF COURSE; THE RESTRUCTURED PROGRAMTO HELPCASH FLOW AND THEN WE ALSO THE LIVESTOCK EXPANSION; WHICH ALLOWS FOR EXPANSION OF EXISTING TYPE OF LIVESTOCK AS WELL AS CONSTRUCTION . SO THOSE ARE THE FOUR PROGRAMS WE MOSTLY USE AND THOSE ARE ALL FUNDED WITH APPROPRIATIONS FROM THE LEGISLATURE. WE ALSO HAVE OUR REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM WHICH HAS FUNDS THAT IS THE PAYBACK WE CAN RELEND OUT. ONCE WE USE MOSTLY THERE ARE LIVESTOCK EQUIPMENT LOAN PROGRAMS.. USED TO PURCHASE LIVESTOCK EQUIPMENT. WE HAVE THE FARM OPPORTUNITY LOAN. SO THOSE ARE FOR ADDING VALUESTWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF THINGS GROWN ON THE FARM AND THAT NATURE AND WE ALSO DO SOME MICRO LOANS. THE ID-BOND PROGRAM WE ALSO ADMINISTER IS TO BE USED QUITE A BIT FORBUT FOR THE MOST PART HAS BEEN REPLACED BY THE BEGINNER FARMER LOAN PROGRAM. SO GENERALLY; THE WAY OUR PROGRAMS WORKTHAT WE DO PARTICIPATIONS. WE WORK IN CONCERT WITH LOCAL BANKSAS WELL AS COMP PEER AND ALIKE AND JUST TO KEEP THE ILLUSTRATION SIMPLE; IF THE FARMER WAS BAR IN $100;000; THEY WOULD GET 55;008 FROM THE LOCAL BANK AND THEY WOULD GET 45;000 OF IT IN THE RURAL FINANCE AUTHORITY. THIS WAY IT ALLOWS THE BANK TO MITIGATE SOME OF THE RISKS THAT ARE NOT TAKING A WHOLE LOAN ON THEMSELVES. AT THE SAME TIME; OUR FINANCING IS TYPICALLY AT A LOWER INTEREST RATE BECAUSE WE ARE ABLE TO USE THE STATE BOND RATING TO PURCHASE BONDS AND GET ACROSS THE FUNDS A LOT LESS. SO BY BLENDING THE RATE OF THE LOCAL BANK THE RURAL FINANCE AUTHORITY IT ENDS UP BEING A MUCH LOWER PAYMENT FOR THE FARMER MAKING CASH FLOW MORE POSITIVEE FOR THEM. SO AS FAR AS LOAN PROGRAMS THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT WE ARE GOING TO TOUCH ON. THE RURAL FINANCE AUTHORITY ALSO ADMINISTERS THE BEGINNING FARMER TAX CREDIT WHICH IS HELPED WITH SOME DIFFERENT THINGS AS FAR SOME FARM TRANSITION THINGS LIKE THAT. AS FAR AS SOME USAGE GOES; SO CURRENTLY WE HAVE 553 LOANS ON THE BOOKS IF YOU WILL FOR AROUND $70 MILLION. WE HAVE ENCUMBERED BUT NOT YET FUNDED APPROXIMATELY 90 LOANS FOR A LITTLE OVER 20 MILLION. SO LAST APPROPRIATION; LAST SPRING;IN 18; WAS FOR 35 MILLION AND WE HAVE ABOUT 17 MILLION OF IT. SO ABOUT HALF NOT GET ENCUMBERED AND AVAILABLE TO LOAN TO FARMERS. SO WE WOULD EXPECT TO HAVE THAT ENCUMBERED PROBABLY SOMEWHERE AROUND OCTOBER-NOVEMBER–ISH GOOD 2019. NOTEDOES OFTENTIMES TO TAKE LOANS TO ACTUALLY FUN BECAUSE THERE’S A LOT OF MOVING PARTS. IS YOUR LOCAL BANK; OFTENTIMES YOU HAVE TO [INAUDIBLE] IT ALL. THESE TRANSACTIONS CAN BE COMPLICATED SO THEY CAN TAKE A LITTLE WHILE TO CLOSE AND ACTUALLY FUND. BUT AS FAR AS USAGE GOES; BEGINNING FARMERS IS FAR AWAY OUR MOST POPULAR PROGRAM IN LOAN AMOUNT WERE LOW NUMBER STANDPOINT. SO USUALLY WE ARE SOMEWHERE AROUND THE 50-70%; 75% RANGE MODEL AND WE ISSUE ARE BEGINNING FARMER LOANS. AS WE DO A LOT IN SUPPORTING GETTING OUR YOUNG FARMERS INTO FARMING. ARE TWO OTHER MORE COMMON ONES ARE AG IMPROVEMENT AND LIVESTOCK EXPANSION WHILE THE NUMBERS OF THESE LOANS DON’T QUITE MATCH THE BEGINNING FARMER; THEIR AMOUNTS TEND TO BE A LITTLE BIT HIGHER AS THEY ARE DOING [INAUDIBLE] HA BONDS AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE; LITTLE MORE EXPENSIVE. SODOLLAR AMOUNTS STANDPOINT; THOSE ARE STARTING TO GET UP OVER WHAT WE WOULD WENT OUT ON THE BEGINNING FARMER PROGRAM. BUT OVERALL; KIND OF HISTORICALLY SPEAKING LAST MAYBE THREE YEARS. TO GIVE YOU SOME AVERAGES. BEGINNING FARMER LOANS ARE ABOUT 61% OF THE LOANS WE ISSUE AND ABOUT 45% OF THE DOLLAR AMOUNT AGRICULTURE IMPROVEMENTS AROUND 19% OF THE LOAN AND 25% OF THE DOLLAR AMOUNT LIVESTOCK EXPANSION ABOUT 11% OF THE LOAN AND 20% OF THE DOLLAR AND RESTRUCTURE IS ABOUT 10%; ABOUT 10% OF LOAN AND 10% OF DOLLAR AMOUNT. THAT GIVES YOU KIND OF A FEEL OF HOW WE GO ABOUT DOING THINGS.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU MR. MCDEVITT. ANY QUESTIONS RIGHT NOW? OTHERWISE WILL TURN IT OVER REPRESENTATIVE HAMILTON>>REPRESENTATIVE MUNSON: THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR MY QUESTION IS HOW SUCCESSFUL IS THIS PROGRAM? THE PERCENTAGE OF THE LOANS AND UP IN DEFAULT?>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE SINCE 1986 I BELIEVE WE HAVEN’T WRITTEN OFF ABOUT $555;0000 WORTH OF LOANS ON LEARNING OF A QUARTER OF 1 BILLION. SO I THINK THAT COMES TO LIKE .002% OR SOMETHING. SO IT’S PRETT Y GOOD.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU FOR ASKING THE QUESTION. ALL RIGHT; THANK YOU FOR THAT. WE WILL TURN OVER; NEXT KENT OLSON ARE STEPPING UP TO THE MICROPHONE. WELCOME TO THE COMMITTEE.>>TESTIFIER: THANK YOU MME. CHAIR. I’M KENT OLSON. I’M THE ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA EXTENSION CENTER FOR COMMUNITY VITALITY. FOR MANY YEARS SINCE 85 I WAS A PROFESSOR OF APPLIED ECONOMICS ON THE ST. PAUL CAMPUS TEACHING FARM MANAGEMENT AND I GREW UP ON A FARM IN IOWA. SO [INAUDIBLE] SAW THE LIGHT AND MOVED UP HERE. BUT HERE I’M TALK ABOUT THE FARMER LENDER MEDIATION PROGRAM. IT’S A STATE-MANDATED PROGRAM STARTING IN 85 OR 86. IT’S FUNDED 70% FROM THE FEDERAL FFA AND 30% FROM OUR REGULAR EXTENSION BUDGET THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY THERE’S A SEPARATE STATE LINE FOR THE MEDIATION PROGRAM IT IS MEDIATION; NOT ARBITRATION. IT STARTS IN 2017 THE LEGISLATURE RAISED TO AND THERE’S A LINE THAT SAYS IT’S $15;000 OR MORE IN DEBT ON THAT ONE LINE ITEM AND IT GOES INTO DEFAULT AND THE CREDITOR DECIDES THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE SOME ACTIONIT IS MANDATORY THAT THAT CREDITOR SENT A LETTER TO THE DEBTOR SAYING THAT YOU ARE IN DEFAULT AND IN THAT LETTER IT SAYS YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF GOING INTO MEDIATION. THAT’S WHAT IS THE FARMER LENDER MEDIATION PROGRAM. A COPY OF THAT LETTER ALSO GOES TO FLM PROGRAM [INAUDIBLE] RECEIVES IT AND STARTS THE PROCESS. I ASSUME AS [INAUDIBLE] WAS SAYING; THE CARS AND DEBTORS ARE TALKING TO EACH OTHER BEFORE THAT ESTABLISHING A RELATIONSHIP. MY UNDERSTANDING TO GET AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT’S GOING ON BOTH SIDES [INAUDIBLE] AT TIMES. SO THAT LETTER STARTSTHE PROCESS. THE DEBTOR HAS 14 DAYS TO SEND MEDIATION REQUEST FORM BACK IN.. IT IS VOLUNTARY. IT’S MANDATORY THE CREDITOR SENT A LETTER BUT IT’S VOLUNTARY FOR THE DEBTOR TO ENTER INTO THE PROGRAM. THAT’S 14 DAYS THEY CAN START THE PROCESS. THERE IS A PACKET; THERE’S THAT LETTER THAT SAYS THEY CAN OPT INTO IT.. IF THEY DO NOT REQUEST MEDIATION TO AND MAYBE MEDITATION-MEDIATION THE CREDITOR CAN CONTINUE DOWN THE LEGAL PROCESS. IT IS A 14 DAY REQUIREMENT. I PRESUME YOU’RE AWARE OF THAT AND IF THEY DO SEND THAT LETTER IN; THEY SEND IT TO ME FLM PROGRAM THAT REQUESTS REMEDIATION. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO LIST ALL DEBTS; ALL 15;000 OR MORE. THE 2017 LEGISLATURE ALSO GAVE THE MEDIATOR OF THE AUTHORITY TO GO CHECK THE CREDIT AGENCIES TO SEE WHAT DEBTS ARE OUT THERE. THEY EXPERIENCE BOTH IN TERMS OF THE CREDITORS AND THE MEDIATORS [INAUDIBLE] EVERYTHING IS REPORTED ALL THE TIME BUT WE ASK AND WE GOT THAT CAPABILITY TO SEEK OUT A LONGER LIST FOR BETTER LIST. ALL OF THE CREDITORS LISTED ARE INVITED AND CAN PURCHASE PAID IN THE MEDIATION PROGRAM . IT DOES NOT ASK; WE DO FEEL STRONGLY ASK THEM TO BE AT THE TABLE FOR ON THE PHONE. SO THERE’S AN INITIAL MEETING BETWEEN THE MEDIATOR AND THE DEBTOR JUST EXPLAINING THE PROCESS AND THERE IS AN ORIENTATION SESSION WITHIN THREE WEEKS [INAUDIBLE] 30 DAYS ALL THE DEBTORS AND THE CREDITORS TALK ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON AND WHAT’S UP WHAT ARE THE NEXT UPS AND THERE IS A 90 DAY REQUIREMENT TO FINISH THAT MEDIATION PROCESS. ABOUT WHAT MAY HAPPEN WHAT CAN BE DONE ; HOW CAN THEY WORK THROUGH THE SITUATION. I KNOW SOME EXTEND BEYOND 90 DAYS BUT THAT BECOMES A MUTUAL AGREEMENT AMONG ALL THE PARTIES. BUT THERE IS THAT BUT AT THE END OF 90 DAYS AS AN AGREEMENT. THERE’S A LACK OF GOOD FAITH OR THERE’S NO AGREEMENT. IT IS MEDIATION AND THE LACK OF GOOD FAITH [INAUDIBLE] IN THE 2017 LEGISLATURE STRENGTHENED WHAT THAT IS [INAUDIBLE] ABOUT THE CREDITOR AND THE DEBTOR HAS TO BE WORKING IN GOOD FAITH WITH EACH OTHER. SHARING INFORMATION IS ONE. IF THERE’S NO AGREEMENT WE DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT. WE ASSUME IT COULD BE A TO BE A REPOSSESSION. IT COULD BE ; IN CASE THEY DECIDE NOT TO GO TO MEDIATION IT COULD BE THAT LETTER IF THEY EVER SEE IT; IT’S A STRONGLY WORDED IN LETTER. IT GETS YOUR ATTENTION [INAUDIBLE] THAT DEBTOR REALIZES THE CREDITOR IS SERIOUS.. THAT HAPPENS [INAUDIBLE] IT IS FEDERALLY FUNDED [INAUDIBLE] FEDERAL FISCAL YEAR. LAST ONE FISCAL YEAR 18; FROM OCTOBER FROM OCTOBER 2017 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2018 THERE WERE OVER 3000 NOTICES THAT WE RECEIVED GOOD ABOUT 26% OF THOSE ASKED FOR MEDIATION. AND ABOUT 84% OF THOSE REACHED AN AGREEMENT COULD IF THEY DON’T REACH AN AGREEMENT WE ASSUME THEY WORK OUT SOME RESOLUTION. THEY MAKE THE DEBT CURRENT; RESTRUCTURE IT; [INAUDIBLE] BUT IT’S NOT MANDATORY THEY TELL US WHAT THEY DO IF THEY DON’T ASK MEDIATION WITH A DON’T REACH AN AGREEMENT. WE JUST KIND OF KNOWS THOSE ARE THE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN. THERE’S ABOUT 33;000 CONTACTS WITH FLM IN THE FISCAL YEAR; 18. WE HAVE ABOUT FIVE FTES; FULL-TIME EQUIVALENTS THAT WORK FOR AT HOME. SIX BUT A MEDIATORS. TWO PART-TIMEFINANCIAL ANALYSTS TO FULL-TIME ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANCE. A FULL-TIME DIRECTOR WAS ALSO A MEDIATOR MARIELLE CHRYSLER AND THEN ADDITIONAL STUFF; MYSELFGRANT FINANCIAL LEGAL SUPPORT AT THE YOU ARE PART OF THAT. FROM DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS. MOST OF THEM ARE THE NOTICES THIS LOOK AT WHERE THE FARMS ARE IN MINNESOTA. AS WERE MOST OF THE NOTICES ARE. SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA OVER TO SOUTHWEST UP THROUGH THE WESTERN SIDE INTO THE NORTHWEST. NOT SO MUCH IN NORTHEAST; NORTH CENTRAL BUT THERE ARE NOT MANY FARMS IN NORTHEAST AND NORTH CENTRAL .. MOST OF THE CREDITORS BANKS BY FAR ALMOST HALF OF THE NOTICES COME FROM BANKS IMPLEMENT DEALERS AND MANUFACTURERS; ABOUT 27%. THEN; THE FARM CREDIT COMP PEER AG BANK ABOUT 18% AND THE REST IN USDA AND OTHERS.THEY CONTRACT WITH DEED AND SO ON. MOST OF THEM ALMOST HALF OF THEM ARE CROP FARMERS COULD DO IN WITH CROPS; POULTRY; AND SO ON. IT’S A MIX THERE; TOO. WHAT WE WOULD EXPECT; AS WE KNOW. TH E AVERAGE DEBTOR IN MEDIATION; 35-YEAR-OLD SOLE PROPRIETOR BUT THEY RAIN FROM 20-93 AND THIS PAST FISCAL YEAR. THOSE THAT OWN LAND FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS; THEY OWN 436 ACRES ON AVERAGE . AVERAGE AG DEBT OF $190;000 WITH AFARM INCOME OF 54;000 AND MEDIAN FARM AND EXPENSES OF 40;000. SO NOT ALL SMALL NOT ALL LARGE FARMS IN MEDIATION. IF YOU LOOK — THIS IS A HANDOUT. IF YOU LOOK AT THIS THAT I THINK IS IN YOUR PACKET; IT SHOWS WHAT IS GOING ON AT THE END OF DECEMBER TODAY IS THE END OF JANUARY SO I’LL BE GETTING THE JANUARY NUMBERSBU T IF YOU LOOK AT IT; THE LAST NUMBER; JANUARY NUMBERSAND A COUPLE DAYS AGO BUT IT LOOKS LIKE WE WILL BE HIGHER THAN WHAT IT WAS LAST YEAR. LAST YEAR THERE WAS JUST UNDER 300 NOTICES RECEIVED BETWEEN JANUARY AND 22 THIS YEAR IN 2019 WE ARE ALREADY OVER 300 AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT WILL BE UP TO AT 330 OR SO. SO IT WILL BE HIGHER. TO ACCOUNT FOR THAT IN 2017 LEGISLATURE WAYS THAT MINIMUM FROM 5000 TO 15;000 AND AN ESTIMATE I MADE BACK A FEW MONTHS AGO WAS THAT TOOK OUT ABOUT 10% MAYBE A LITTLE MORE OF NOTICES THAT WE RECEIVED. SO PUT ON EQUAL FOOTING[INAUDIBLE] UNDER CONDITIONS THAT ARE IN THE FREE 50 WERE A LITTLE BIT MORE IN TERMS THE LETTERS WE RECEIVED IN JANUARY. WHICH IS ANOTHER SIGNAL BESIDES LOOKING AT THE NET FARM INCOME ESTIMATES OF PRICES AND YIELDS; IT’S ANOTHER SIGNAL THAT IT IS TOUGH FINANCIAL TIMES OUT THERE. SO THESE LITTLE GRAPHS; YOU CAN SEE THE LAST FEW YEARS WE HAVE SEEN HIGHER NUMBERS COMPARED TO THE RECESSION BACK IN EIGHT; NINE; 10 AND THOSE ARE SIMILAR BUBBLES FROM THE 1980S. BUT THE MONTHLY VARIATION DOES REMAIN HIGH SO WE DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT THE NEXT FEW MONTHS ARE. THE LAST FEW MONTHS IS JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH; AS A REQUEST FOR NEW OPERATING LOANS; AND THAT IS A TRIGGER FOR SOME DISCUSSION ON DEFAULT. WE MAY BE SEEN AN INCREASE THERE BUT WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE WHAT THOSE MONTHS SHOW UP. SO MME. CHAIR>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. YES REPRESENTATIVE>>TESTIFIER: IF IN>>REPRESENTATIVE — THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR YOU MENTION THE SPOUT 3000 NOTICES AND ON ABOUT 26% OF THOSE [INAUDIBLE] DO YOU KNOW WHY THE OTHER AS FOR MEDIATION?>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE WE DON’T KNOW FOR SURE. WE DON’T ASK. IT’S A CONFIDENTIAL PROCESS.IF THEY DON’T RESPOND WE DON’T [INAUDIBLE] WE JUST ASSUME; THAT IT’S A CASE THAT THEY DO INDEED PAY UP THAT MIMIC THE DEBT CURRENT OR THEY WALK AWAY FROM THAT ASSET OR ITS REFINANCED BUT WE DON’T HAVE A SPECIFIC ANSWER FOR THAT.>>CHAIR POPPE: ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? THANK YOU. OKAY SO MR. SCHLOSSER. INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND GO AHEAD.>>TESTIFIER: GOOD MORNING PLEASURE TO BE HERE. GLAD SITE LIGHT/OR IS MY NAME AND [INAUDIBLE] AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION FOR MY PROFESSIONAL BUT I’M AT SOUTH CENTRAL COLLEGE WEST MANKATO AND FAIRBAULT EMPHASIS AND I CAN CURRENTLYSERVE OF THE [INAUDIBLE] FOR THE ACADEMIC PROGRAMS UNFORTUNATE TO SUPPORTTHE SOUTHERN AGRICULTURAL CENTER OF EXCELLENCE AND THAT’S FOR MINNESOTA STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. SO THAT RACE ACROSSTHE SSTATE OF MINNESOTA. PLEASE DO BEER WITH YOU TO SHOW THIS MORNING BUT FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FOR EDUCATION WISE. SUPPORTED IN EIGHT DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS THE MINNESOTA STATE SYSTEM. NORTHLAND ALEXANDRIA; CENTRAL LAKES; BRIDGEWATER; ST. CLOUD; MINNESOTA [INAUDIBLE] IN SOUTH-CENTRAL COLLEGE.WE HAVE APPROXIMATELY 3000 FARMERS THAT ARE ENROLLED IN THE FUND OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PR OGRAM. WITH OVER 67 FACULTY THAT ARE CURRENTLYWORKING TO PROVIDE EDUCATION AND TO PROVIDE ADVICE FOR FARMERS THAT ARE LOOKING TO REACH SUCCESS IN THEIR FARM OPERATIONS. [INAUDIBLE] STARTED BACK IN THE 1950S AND I’VE GOT 15 FACULTY ARE WORKING FOR SOUTH-CENTRAL COLLEGE. LAST YEAR WE HAD 604 STUDENTS THAT WERE IN ROW. IN FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION. I’LL SHARE MORE ABOUT THAT FARMERS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION ARE FUNDED BY TWO CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE. [INAUDIBLE] UP IN STAPLES AND HE SPORTS IN ORDER TO HAVE THE STATE OF MINNESOTA AND BETWEEN THE TWO OF US WE PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT TO ABOUT IT FACULTY IN OUR RESPECTIVE CENTERS. ONE OF THE OUTCOMES OF FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION ; STUDENTS ARE ENROLLED. BE THERE FOR EDUCATION PURPOSES PRIMARILY. WE CERTAINLY ASSIST WITH BENCHMARKING; RECORD-KEEPING; GUIDANCE THAT WE PROVIDE AN INDEPENDENT ADVISING CAPACITY. THERE’S REALLY NOTHING THAT IS EXCHANGE IN TERMS OF A PRODUCT THAT FARMERS CAN GO TO THEIR [INAUDIBLE] OR NUTRITIONISTS OR TO A VETERINARIAN. THERE’S SOMETHING EXCHANGE THERE. WHEN PEOPLE ASKED ME ABOUT FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION I REALLY POINT OUT THEY ARE THE IS ABOUT EDUCATION. SOME STUDENTS ARE JUST ENROLLING [INAUDIBLE] BEGINNING FARMERS ARE IN THAT WE SEEN IN A UPTICK IN THE DEMAND FOR EDUCATION IN FARM BUSINESS OPERATIONS VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT DR. OLSON INDICATED. THE AGE RANGE; SEEN AS LOW AS 16 YEARS OF AGE AND AS HIGH AS 90 YEARS OF AGE ENROLLED IN FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION BUT I TALKED TO A LOT OF INDIVIDUALS WEB-ENABLED FOR JUST THAT FIRST YEAR BUT MANY WE ARE TALKING OVER 30 OR 40 YEARS. I WANT TO IDENTIFY WHERE THE ATTRIBUTE AND THE SURREAL COLLABORATIVE APPROACH BETWEEN MINNESOTA STATE AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION SYSTEM AND THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. WE DO COLLABORATE SIGNIFICANTLY WITH THE CENTER FOR FUN FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. 3000; PLUS FARMERS ENROLLED AT LEICESTER AND WE JUST HAD OVER 2100 OF THEM BUT ACTUALLY DID ENTERPRISE ANALYSIS AND [INAUDIBLE] ANALYSIS. WE CONTRIBUTE THAT TO THE DATABASE AT THE CENTER FORFARM FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT [INAUDIBLE]BUNCH OF BENCHMARKING RESOURCE THAT IS LARGER DATA SET IN THE COUNTRY.. LAST YEAR WE HAD OVER 34;000 QUERIES AND IT’S ONLY HELPS [INAUDIBLE] DRIVE QUESTIONS; STANDARDS; RATES AND CERTAINLY SUPPORTS OUR FARM ECONOMY. INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE STARTING TO GET A REAL SENSE OF WHERE THEY SHOULD BE IN TERMS OF BUDGETING AND PLANNING PURPOSES. SOMETIMES SOMEONE WOULD LIKE TO K NOW>>TESTIFIER: IF IN A BEEN IN EDUCATION SINCE 1983 AND I KIND OF THINK ABOUT. I STARTED IN UNTIL YOUR MINNESOTA [INAUDIBLE] WHAT KIND OF AN IMPACT IF YOU HAVE; YOU QUESTION YOURSELF AT TIMES NOW; 40 YEARS LATER I RUN INTO SOME OF THE STUDENTS THAT WERE IN THAT FIRST CLASS AND YOU CAN MEASURE IT. WHAT ABOUT FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT EDUCATIONASK THOSE FORMER STUDENTS WHAT WAS THE IMPACT THEIR ENROLLMENT FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION. AND BETWEEN FIVE AND $25;000 OF ECONOMIC ADDED VALUE IS WHAT THEY INDICATE; THEY MEANING ABOUT 40% OF THE PRODUCERS ENROLLED IN THE FARM BUSINESS IN EDUCATION. SOME HAVE SAID NO GAIN ECONOMIC GAIN BUT THE KNOWLEDGE IS REALLY WHAT THEY APPRECIATE. THERE ARE SOME THAT HAVE [INAUDIBLE] TO GIVE YOU A BENCHMARK REALLY DEPENDS ON THE INSTITUTIONS WERE SOON FROM WOULD BE ENROLLED. TUITION RATES ARE BECOMING IN THAT UNIQUE AUTONOMOUS MANNER IN WHICH MINNESOTA STATE SYSTEM OPERATES BUT I WOOULD SHARE WITH YOU IT SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 17 AND $1800 FOR YEARS WITH TUITION OF A PERSON IS FULL-TIME ENROLLED. THERE IS A ASSISTANCE TO BEGINN ING FARMERS SPECIFICALLY AND WE COLLABORATE WITH MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND THIS PAST YEAR THAT $6000 WAS PROVIDED FOR BEGINNING FARMERS SCHOLARSHIPS. THOSE THAT WERE FIRST ENROLLEES OR LESS THAN FOUR YEARS ENROLLMENT IN FARM IS BUSINESS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION 638 INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THE BEGINNING FARMERS PROGRAM. I BELIEVE THAT’S FOUR YEARS THAT WE BEEN SUPPORTING THAT DESIGN AND IT HAS INCREASED EACH YEAR. I WOULD ALSO IDENTIFY THAT ASSISTANCE FOR BEGINNING FARMERS [INAUDIBLE] TAX CREDIT AND ARE [INAUDIBLE] WORK WITH STUDENTS ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM TO ASSIST THAT REALITY. THERE ARE SOME INDIVIDUALS THAT DON’T MEET BEGINNING FARMER CRITERIA AND ARE EXPERIENCING THE FINANCIAL STRESSES THAT ARE OUT THERE. HISTORICALLY; JUST TO GIVE YOU A SENSE LAST YEAR; RIGHT NOW; YOUR FACULTY 67 ACROSS THE STATE WORKING WITH THOSE THOSE ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM TO THAT ENTERPRISE BENCHMARKING AND FARM ANALYSIS. I PERSONALLY HAVE BEEN IN SOME OF THE OFFICES WITH FACULTY AND ALSO VISITED SOME FARMS AND PER THEIR INVITATION TO BE THERE IN A CONFIDENTIAL CONVERSATION; CONFIDENTIAL EDUCATIONAL SITUATION COULD I DO WITH THEIR FINANCIAL STATUS IS BY THE TIME I LEAVE AND I CAN SHARE WITH YOU SOME OF THEM HAVE BEEN POSITIVE. SOME OF THEM HAVE BEEN NEGATIVEIT HAS BEEN CHALLENGING. WE ARE CONSISTENT WITH THAT [INAUDIBLE] INDICATED; WE ARE FIFTH YEAR IN A ROW WITH LOW PROFITABILITY IN SOME INSTANCES ARE GOING BACKWARDS BUT YOUR DIFFICULT CONDITIONS LAST YEAR. WHETHER PLANTING OR GROWING SEASON OR HARVEST SEASON; I TRAVELED AROUND THE SOUTHERN REACHES OF THE STATE. THERE’S STILL SOME CROPS THAT ARE STANDING OUT THERE. I’M SURE THE WILDLIFE APPRECIATING BACK. FARMERS DO TREMENDOUS SERVICE AND THERE’S A LOT OF VARIATION IN MINNESOTA. I MENTIONED [INAUDIBLE] AND GIVE YOU JUST A SENSE OF THE MEDIAN NET FARM INCOME OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THE GRAPHIC IT JUST AS TO DEMONSTRATE DOWNWARD TREND. BALANCE SHEET; PRETTY CONSTANT OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS IN OUR ANALYSIS. AGAIN THIS REPRESENTS FINANCIAL BENCHMARKING ; 3000; PLUS FARMERS WITH RATE OF RETURN; RATE OF RETURN IN SOME INSTANCES AS HAVE BEEN NEGATIVE.. IF YOU ARE ABLE TO BREAK EVEN; THAT IS BEEN A GOOD THING.? IT ALL JUST PUT THAT OUT THERE. THAT DEBT TO ASSET RATIO WE GET A SENSE WORK WE GET THERE. THE RED LINE IS [INAUDIBLE] AND DEBTS ARE RISING. TERM DEBT COVERAGE RATIO AGAIN; WEAKENING. RUN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA CONSISTENT WITH WHAT TED SHARED; SOUTHEASTERN MINNESOTA SOUTH-CENTRAL; SOUTHWESTERN UP TO THE WESTERN EDGE OF MINNESOTA AND OPEN TO THE NORTHWEST; THAT’S PRIMARILY WHAT WE SEE FARM SPARSITY IN THE NORTHEAST. THE DATA DOES GIVE YOU A COMPARISON. 2016 WAS BETTER FOR THE MOST PART THAN 2017. I AM ANTICIPATING 2018 IS GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT CONCERNING. WE WILL KNOW BY ABOUT FIRST OF APRILWHAT ARE STATUSES WE ARE WORKIN G HARD; [INAUDIBLE] EDUCATORS ARE DOING A LOT OF ANALYSIS. MEDIAN NET FARM INCOME KIND OF GIVES YOU A SENSE OF WHERE WE ARE AT THEIR PEAK WE TYPICALLY BREAK DOWN AS WE ANALYZE DATA INTO THE HIGH 20% MIDRANGE BELOW 20% OF TRENDS ARE DIPPING. FAMILY LIVING EXPENSES. WHAT DOES IT TAKETO LET’S JUST SAY HERE BEAUTIFUL JANUARY; WHAT’S IT TAKE TO PAY YOUR HE BILL? SOME OF THOSE KINDS OF THINGS. WE ARE SEEN THAT TIGHTENING I GUESS IS A GOOD WAY TO DESCRIBE THAT. THOSE WHO KEPT DETAILEDRECORDS ARE DEMONSTRATING THAT IN ORDER TO BE RESILIENT THEY CERTAINLY NEED TO BUDGET APPROPRIATELY AND REDUCE SPENDING BELOW THEIR MEANS. WHAT WE SEE ON THE HORIZON; TO GIVE YOU A SENSE; MINNESOTA IS VERY SIGNIFICANT [INAUDIBLE] SOYBEAN PRODUCTION. OUR INDICATIONS ARE THAT JUST IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS CORN PRODUCTION HAS BEEN A BREAKEVEN AT BEST. BEANS KIND OF DEPENDS. AS MENTIONED EARLY THIS MORNING; I WOULD AGREE FULLY WITH THE REALITY OF WHAT WE’RE KIND OF YIELDS YOU HAVE ANY KIND OF MARKETING PLAN WE FOCUS ON ALL THOSE FACTORS IN FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT EDUCATION. I AM A CHRISTIAN AND I BELIEVE IN PRAYER AND I THINK THAT’S IMPORTANT FOR US ALL TO BE RESILIENT. LOOKING FORWARD; WHICH WE SEE? 2018 WE HAVE GOT THE DATA WHICH REFLECTS [INAUDIBLE] DECLINING FINANCIAL STRENGTH 2019 WE ARE EXPENSIVE SOME DIFFICULTY BUT I DID ASK YOU POST A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE IN ST. CLOUD A WEEK AND A HALF AGO AND WE 55 OF OUR FACULTY THAT WERE IN ATTENDANCE FOR FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT ABOUT 80% OF THEM INDICATED THEY HAD BEEN WORKING WITH THEIR STUDENTS AT LEAST ONE OR FOLLOW UP TO FOR MISSIONS THAT WERE ENROLLED WE WERE PARTICIPATING IN FROM HER MEDIATION. ACCESS TO CREDIT. WE ARE ANTICIPATING IS GOING TO BE REDUCED. POSSIBLY ELIMINATED. I’VE HEARD STORIES FROM FACULTY THAT INDICATED THEY ARE GOING TO BE EXITING. SO THAT’S WHAT WE ARE LIVING IN QUÉBEC AND URBAN ENVIRONMENTS. BOTH SECTORS ARE STRUGGLING TO SHOW ANY KIND OF A PROFIT. I’M CERTAINLY AN ADVOCATE TO HAVE AND I AM BIASED. I WILL ADMIT THAT BUT ARE DO EDUCATION IS REALLY IMPORTANT AND I WOULD JUST IDENTIFY THE REALITY. [INAUDIBBLE] THE FARM IN LUCERO COUNTY IN 1980S WHEN I STARTED MY AG EDUCATION; MY PARENTS AFTER 27 YEARS WHAT AWAY FROM THE FARM. WENT BACK TO THE BANK. THEY LEFT WITH $5000 AND I JUST KNOW THAT EDUCATION CERTAINLY IS A BENEFIT TO ALL OF US. SO I CAN BURY HONESTLY RELATE TO SITUATIONS AND STRUGGLES THAT ARE TAKING PLACE. I WILL IDENTIFY THAT IN SOME INSTANCES IT’S NOT THE STRUGGLE . REALLY GOOD MANAGEMENT SOMEONE THAT IS A LIFELONG LEARNER; SOME OF THOSE HAVE TO BORROW MONEY [INAUDIBLE] AND THEY MADE $90;000 LAST YEAR. THEY WERE REALLY PLEASED AND PROUD OF THAT. COUPLE CHALLENGES WE SEE MOVING FORWARD. IN TERMS OF PLANNING FOR BUSINESS SOME TAX CONFORMITY CONCERNS. THAT’S A [INAUDIBLE] SUCCESSION PLANNING. IF YOUR FIFTH GENERATION FROM HER AND YOUR SONS OR DAUGHTERS AND THEIR FAMILIES COMING INTO IT THERE ARE SOME CONVERSATIONS GOING ON. I DON’T BELIEVE OUR MEDIA IS REALLY MAKING IT ANY EASIER FOR FARMERS COULD ALREADY IDENTIFIED [INAUDIBLE] MEDIATIONS. I WILL SHARE WITH YOU HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE AT MY OFFICE AT SOUTH-CENTRAL COLLEGE NORTH MANKATO OFFICE. THERE’S BEEN A NUMBER OF FARMERS THAT’S BEEN INCREASE [INAUDIBLE] TED MATTHEWS. I TRUST MANY OF YOU KNOW WHO THAT IS. [INAUDIBLE] HEALTH COUNSELING AND I’VE BEEN COORDINATING AND SUPPORTING HIS EFFORTS. WE HAVE SEEN AND HEARD OF NOTICES THAT PEOPLE NEED HELP IF THERE IN STRIFE THE GROUT [INAUDIBLE] EVEN THE COOPERATIVE MAILINGS ARE GOING OUT. SO THERE ARE STRESSES THAT ARE OUT THERE FROM A STUDENT PERSPECTIVE. WE SHARE WITH YOU I’VE BEEN PRESENT WITH THOSE OUTS AND WHAT FACULTY ARE SHOWING AND ALSO ON VISITS WITH TED CONFIDENTIALLY . WE HAVE GOT SOME DEMEANING SITUATIONS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE. THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. I’M OPEN FORAN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE ANY INTEREST IN QUESTIONS>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. REPRESENTATIVE LISLEGARD>>REPRESENTATIVE LISLEGARD: THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR I’M JUST ABOUT THE FORM OF A $90;000 AND IS A SUCCESS STORY THE STUPID COULD YOU GIVE US [INAUDIBLE] DIFFERENT DECISIONS THAT FARMER MADE IN MAKING THAT ALLOWED THAT TO BE A BRIGHT SPOT THIS YEAR?>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE I ASKED HIM A SPECIFIC QUESTIONS [INAUDIBLE] INVOLVED IN HEDGING USING OPTIONS. WHEN RENT. WE TALKED ABOUT THAT. HE SAID I WOULD NOT PAY MORE THAN $200 IN RENT. JUST DOESN’T BECAUSE OF CASH FLOW. THESE OVER 40 YEARS FARMING AND HE SAID AFTER 20 YEARS [INAUDIBLE] COULD REALLY UNDERSTAND WHY HE SAID THAT THIS YEAR. HE SAID THAT HE DID NOT HAVE TO BORROW ANY MONEY IN 2018 FIRST TIME IN I THINK 45 YEARS OF BEING INVOLVED HAVING GROWN UP ON THE FARM AND ACTIVELY OWNING OPERATING MANAGING MAKING ALL THE DECISIONS. SO YOU TAKE AWAY THE INTEREST AND THE WORK PLAN COST THAT’S PROBABLY THE MAJOR CONTRIBUTION.. DOING A GOOD JOB IN MARKETING. THOSE ARE THE FACTORS WHICH WOULD ENABLE PERSON TO EXPERIENCE A PROFITABLE SITUATION EVEN IN DEMANDING TIMES.>>REPRESENTATIVE LISLEGARD: THANK YOU. THAT’S HELPFUL.>>CHAIR POPPE: REPRESENTATIVE SWEDZINSKI>>REPRESENTATIVE SWEDZINSKI: THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR I’M ALSO A FARM KID FROM IOWA. I’M IN SHAKOPEE NOW BUT MY PARENTS ARE STILL ON THE FARM AND I’VE A GENERAL QUESTION FOR THE PANEL. SO WE ARE ROW CROP LIVESTOCK TRADITIONAL TYPE OF FARM.AS YOU LOOK AT THE GRASS FROM THE BOOM AND BUST CYCLE THAT FARMERS GO THROUGH AND ALL THE MENTALANGUISH AND PROBLEMS BEEN ABLE TO MAKE MONEY DO YOU FEEL THAT WE ARE NEAR OR AROUND A TIPPING POINT WHERE A NORMAL — OUTPUT NORMAL IN QUOTATION MARKS>>REPRESENTATIVE BECKER-FINN: FAMILY FARM TODAY IS UNSUSTAINABLE AND WHAT IS THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE WITH THAT. THEIR FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES WE NEED TO MAKE WORK AND MAKE YEAR AS A STATE TO HELP THE FAMILY FARM BECOME MORE SUCCESSFUL ACROSS THE BOARD BOOKINGS THE FUTURE; WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY GOING ON THAT? JUST A SIMPLE QUESTION.>>CHAIR POPPE: WHO WANT TO TAKE THAT FIRST BIG START WITH MR. SLUSHER.>>TESTIFIER: I’VE HAD A LETTER SITUATIONS THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR REPRESENTATIVE HAD A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE GET OUT OF TO 20 YEARS AT SOUTH-CENTRAL COLLEGE ON THE AG BUSINESS SCENE. THOSE ARE INTERESTED IN FARMINGAND I THINK IT’S ON A ONE-TO-ONE BASIS . I REALLY DO. IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THE FAMILY DYNAMICS ARE DEPENDS UPON IF THERE IS AN AUNT OR UNCLE PROBABLY MORE LIKELY IT’S AN AUNT THAT ON SOME LAND WHETHER THEY ARE WILLING TO ALLOW THAT LAND TO BE LEVERAGED; USED FOR A PERSON’S EDUCATION. THEIR WHEREWITHAL. HAVE A LOOK AT THINGS ; HOW MUCH OF THE PASSION THEY HAVE FOR FARMING. I GUESS I SEE THOSE REALITIES MY WIFE AND I HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS ONE IS A VETERINARIAN AND WE SEE TREMENDOUS GROWTH IN THE SWINE INDUSTRY. SHE LOVES PIGS AND SO THAT’S WHAT SHE’S FOCUSING ON IN THE 30 YEARS THAT I’VE BEEN PROFESSIONALLY INVOLVED I’VE SEEN JUST TREMENDOUS CHANGE DOING WHAT I DO ; IF A PERSON HAS A BARN AND THEY COMMENT OUT BIG SPACE THAT’S CASH FLOW. DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE MARKET IS DOING. THOSE KINDS OF FACTORS REALLY INFLUENCE THINGS. OUR OTHER DAUGHTER AND HER HUSBAND ARE DAIRY PRODUCERS THAT A PRETTY BIG SENSE OF WHERE THEY ARE AT RIGHT NOW BUT THERE’S REAL PASSION IN THEIR FARM. I SON-IN-LAW DATA MOM [INAUDIBLE] SO HE’S EMBARKING ON HIS OWN. I DON’T THINK WE HAVE A COOKIE CUTTER OR TEMPLATE THAT REALLY DEPENDS ON A LOT OF SITUATIONS A LOT OF FACTORS.>>CHAIR POPPE: YES?>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE I THINK IT WAS BACK TO THE BOOM AND BUST CYCLE. THE FAMILY FARM; TODAY FAMILY FARM IS AND WHAT I GREW UP ON. IT’S A LOT DIFFERENT. BUT THAT BOOM AND BUST MEANS EITHER RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS THAT ARE AVAILABLE AND ARE THEY MAKING MOST OF THEM? EVEN WITH THAT; THE GOOD MANAGER CAN GET CAUGHT THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. WE HAD A NATURAL DISASTER POLICY; A TRADE WAR; THERE ARE JUST THINGS WE WISH WE COULD FIGURE OUT HOW TO NOT MAKE A MAN-MADE; WOMAN MAY DISASTER BUT THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED ALL THE TIME. NATURAL DISASTERS [INAUDIBLE] THOSE ARE HEDGING;; LIKE YOU MENTIONED FOR THAT ONE BUT EVEN THERE THEY CAN BE MISTAKES MADE IN DECISIONS. THE LONG-RUN VIEW OF WHAT IS OUT THERE IS IT HARD RIGHT NOW WILL MAYBE IT’S NOT HOGS AND 5-10 YEARS. BUT IS ITTO HEMP PRODUCTION.. THA T’S EXCITING RIGHT NOW BUT MANY OF YOU REMEMBER JERUSALEM ARE TO ARTICHOKES. THERE’S NO MAGIC SOLUTION. IF WE KNOW IT WE WOULD ALL BE THERE. SO IT’S THAT MANAGEMENT ISSUE. IT’S WATCHING WHAT’S GOING ON. JUST LIKE ANY BUSINESS; WHERE OF THAT COVERING THE RISKS BEING ADEPT AND AGILE TO MAKE THOSE MOVES.. TODAY WAS GOOD OUTSIDE GOOD I NEED TO MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSEWITHIN A FARM>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU DR. OLSON I THINK REPRESENTATIVEOUR NEXT THE PANELS MIGHT BE A GOOD ONE ALSO TO ASK A QUESTION. REPRESENTATIVE MILLER>>REPRESENTATIVE MILLER: THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR. NOT A QUESTION OF VERY BRIEF STATEMENT. I WAS A LOTS OF FORMS AND AS WE ALL KNOW THERE’S ABOUT 97; 90% OF THE FUNDS IN MINNESOTA ARE FAMILY-RUN FARMS AND THESE ARE VERY DIFFICULT TIMES. SO THAT’S A LOT OF THE THINGS WE ARE ADDRESSING WHICH IS IMPORTANT BUT ONE OF THE THINGS WE ALSO FIND OUT IS THAT FARMERS ARE NOT ONLY RESILIENT BUT THEY’RE VERY INNOVATIVE AND IN A VERY DIFFICULT TIMES THEY STEP OUT AND SO YOU TALK ABOUT LIKE HE MP FOR EXAMPLE MIGHT BE A NEW PRODUCT OR SOMETHING THE FARMERS I KNOW IN THE AREA ; KIND OF KEEP IN THEIR HEAD DOWN BECAUSE THINGS ARE TOUGH ; VERY TOUGH. FOR SOME OTHERS [INAUDIBLE] FROM TALKING TO THE FORMS AND ARE ACTUALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITIES. I KNOW FARMERS THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS EVEN DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES; OR FIND A WAY TO AT LEAST MAKE A LIVING IF NOT ACTUALLY SUMMERTIME THE RETURNING PROFITS. I KNOW THERE’S A LOT LESS OF THOSE THAN OTHERS BUT THAT’S WHAT EXCITES ME. THAT THE PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE FARMING IN MINNESOTA KNOW HOW TO GET THIS DONE AND I THINK IF THERE’S ANYTHING THAT WE NEED TO DO AS A STATE; AS POLICYMAKERS WHAT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE EQUIP THEM AND ENABLE THEM TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS STUFF THEY KNOW HOW TO DO AND NOT GET IN THE WAY. SO THAT’S WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT DOING IT I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE A TIME THAT WE CAN LOOK AT A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR AGRICULTURE. I THINK PEOPLE THAT ARE IN IT ARE WILL CERTAINLY [INAUDIBLE] THE POLICIES WE MOVE FORWARD HERE CAN ENABLE THEM AND NOT HINDER THEM. THANK YOU.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU REPRESENTATIVE MILLER. THANK YOU TO THE PANELISTS FOR COMING FORWARD AND PROVIDING US SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT WE APPRECIATE THAT. WE ARE GOING TO CALL DOWN NOW THIS NEXT PANEL AND THIS IS REPRESENTATIVE MILLER GIVE US A SEGUE TO BE ABLE TO SAY TIMES ARE CHALLENGING BUT FOR SOME NOT AS CHALLENGING WE ARE GRABBING CHRIS — IN — KEVIN –. THEY WILL BE ABLE TO REPRESENTATIVE WE REACH OUT TO A VARIETY OF FARM ORGANIZATIONS. ASKED THEM IF THEY COULD FIND A FARMER WHO WOULD BE WILLING TO COME AND TALK TO THEIR PERSPECTIVE AND SO WE HAVE A VARIETY OF PANELISTS HERE BOTH SEASON AND NEW FARMERS. A VARIETY OF PRODUCTION SIZES AND TYPES. SO WE WELCOME YOU ALL. I KNOW THAT PEOPLE TRAVELED AGAIN. WE APPRECIATE THAT YOU CAME TODAY TO BE A PART OF THIS PANEL AND WE ARE GIVING YOU A LITTLE BIT OF TIME WE CERTAINLY WELCOME YOU TO COME BACK SOMETIME IF YOU’RE WANTING TO GIVE US A GREATER PERSPECTIVE WE RE TO MEET INDIVIDUALLY WITH PEOPLE. SO THANK YOU. I’M GOING TO TURN IT OVER TO MR. PAT; I THINK I’LL START WITH YOU AND THEN WE IS THAT OKAY? THEN WE WILL HAVE EVERYBODY PRESENT THEIR NAMES AND GIVE THEIR PERSPECTIVE. THANK YOU.>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR;. FOR THE RECORD KEVIN MATT PAPP FOURTH TO GENERATION CORN AND SOYBEAN FARMER AS WAS PRESIDENT OF MINNESOTA FARM BUREAU MINNESOTA FARM BUREAU AS MEMBERS IN EVERY MINNESOTA COUNTY. WE HAVE 78 ORGANIZE COUNTIES AND REGIONAL FARM BILLS. APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME BEFORE YOU. SWEEP SOME SERIOUS FINANCIAL EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES OUT THERE. I REALLY WANT TO TALK ABOUT FOUR DIFFERENT AREAS. YOU CAN BE A FARMER OR A RANCHER YOU CAN BE FROM MINNESOTA THIS WEEK QUITE FRANKLY; NOT WANT TO TALK WHAT THE WEATHER FIRST. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE WEATHER AND I THINK AS I GO AROUND IN MY DRIVEWAY DISPLAYS ADVANTAGE 34 THERE’S FARM REPORTS AT -52 WINDSHIELD COULD I THINK THAT THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO IS TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND THANK MINNESOTA’S FARMERS AND RANCHERS THIS WEEK FOR THE EXTRA WORK; THE EXTRA EFFORT THAT THEY PUT INTO CARE FOR THEIR ANIMALS TO KEEP THEM SAFE AND HEALTHY. TALKING WITH FOLKS THAT ARE UP EVERY FOUR HOURS CHECKING TO MAKE SURE THINGS ARE WORKING AND NOT FREEZING UP AND THINGS LIKE THAT. AS WE TALKED ABOUT THE WEATHER WITH VETERAN THE FARM BILL IS ALREADY BEEN COVERED. [INAUDIBLE] IT WAS WARMER WEATHER THAN NORMAL BUT WE HAD POOR YIELDS. SO THAT MEANT; THERE WAS LESS [INAUDIBLE] BUT WHAT I WOULD ASK THAT THE LEGISLATURE DO IS GIVE US THOSE TOOLS TO MANAGE THE WEATHER THAT UNPREDICTABILITY; THE BEST WE CAN. ALLOW US TO USE TECHNOLOGY WITH ITS BIOTECHNOLOGY FEED; AS YOU LOOK AT [INAUDIBLE] RESISTANCE THINGS LIKE THAT. WE NEED TO MANAGE OUR WATER TO HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO IRRIGATE [INAUDIBLE] IN THAT PART OF THE STATE WERE TO DRAIN IF IT’S EXCESS WATER. LOW PRICES HAVE BEEN MENTIONED.. CERTAINLY; THE WAY TO INCREASE PRICES IS TO INCREASE DEMAND. WE KNOW THAT 96% OF THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD DON’T LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES SO [INAUDIBLE] THAT’S BEEN MENTIONED AND MAYBE MORE OF A NATIONAL THING BUT [INAUDIBLE] TRADE OFFICE DOES GREAT THINGS. WE BEEN INFORMED IN FARM BUREAU TRADE [INAUDIBLE] AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO BUILD THOSE RELATIONSHIPS. I WOULD JUST REMIND THE COMMITTEE AS WE THINK ABOUT TRADE IF THERE’S NO TRANSPORTATION THERE’S NO TRADE. TRANSPORTATION IS SO IMPORTANT THAT IS SOMETHING THE MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE CAN HELP WITH. ANOTHER WAY TO HELP WITH VICES IS TO INCREASE DEMAND. FOR AG VALLEY. CONTINUE TO HAVE IT GIVE US THOSE TOOLS IN MINNESOTA TO ADD VALUE FOR THEIR BE RENEWABLE FUELS THE ETHANOL THE BIODIESEL; THINGS TO ADD VALUE TO THE COMMODITIES WE RAISE BUT ALSO ADD VALUE TO US AS COMMITTEES IN WHICH WE LIVE. ONE OF THE GREATEST ADDED VALUES; QUITE FRANKLY; IS MINNESOTA AGRICULTURE IS ANIMAL AGRICULTURE. HAVING THAT ABILITY BUT IT’S BEEN MENTIONED; HAVING THAT SON OR DAUGHTER OR SON A LOT TO BE ABLE TO WORK IN THEIR WAY INTO A BUSINESS [INAUDIBLE]THE LABOR IS OUR GREATEST ASSET AND HAVE THAT ABILITY TO BE INVOLVED IN LIVESTOCK. SO [INAUDIBLE] IS DEALS WITH PERMITS; WITH REGULATIONS; THINGS LIKE THAT TO LET THAT NEXT GENERATION BECOME INVOLVED. NEXT TOPIC IS DECREASED FARM INCOME. IT’S ARTY BEEN MENTIONED. ME NTAL HEALTH HAS BEEN TAKEN CARE OF. IT’S IMPORTANT THOUGH THAT WE DON’T JUST TALK ABOUT IT THAT WE DO THINGS. WE KNOW TED MATTHEWS IS A POINT IN DOING GREAT GOOD BUT WE CAN JUST TALK ABOUT WE NEED TO GET THAT MONEY THROUGH THE SYSTEM SO WE CAN HAVE ANOTHER TED MATTHEWS WERE TOO. WE’VE GOT HIGH EXPENSES. AGAIN; LOWER YIELDS EXPENSES WENT UP WE HAVE LESS BUSHELS THAT MAKES IT A HIGHER COST PER ACRE QUITE FRANKLY; ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHECKS AT OUR CHECKBOOK AND OUR FARM EVERY MONTH IS NOT NECESSARILY THE CROP INPUT BUT IT’S INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE. THE COST OF INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE FOR NOT ONLY FARMERS AND SMALL BUSINESS. IT’S VERY EXPENSIVE.. IN OUR CASE; FOR JUST MY WIFE AND I; AS YOU LOOK AT OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES FOR THE TWO OF US FOR HEALTH INSURAANCE; IT’S OVER $93 A DAY OUT-OF-POCKET HEALTHCARE. AS WELL AS PROPERTY TAXES. ANOTHER EXPENSE THAT THIS BODY CAN DO SOME THINGS ABOUT. CERTAINLY; THE SCHOOL BOND REFERENDUMS AS WE LOOK AT THE EXPENSE OF HOMESTEAD CREDITS AND THINGS LIKE THAT IS ANOTHER WAY WE CAN HELP PUT THE WITHOUT FARM INCOME. THE LAST TOPIC I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT JUST A LITTLE BIT IS THAT IS; PLEASE; GIVE US THAT ABILITY TO COMPETE. DON’T PUT US ON AN ISLAND IN MINNESOTA WHERE WE HAVE DIFFERENT POLICIES FOR THE RESTRICTIVE POLICIES FROM THE STATES AROUND US AND THINGS LIKE THAT. WHETHER THAT IS IN REGULATIONS; AS YOU SAID BEGIN TECHNOLOGY; BIOTECHNOLOGY.. CROP PRODUCTION PRODUCTS. WHETHER IT IS [INAUDIBLE] OR TREATED SEED; THINGS LIKE THAT. DON’T PUT US ON AN ISLAND AND GIVE US A MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN OUR NEIGHBORS ACROSS. BUT ALSO AS AN ABILITY TO COMPETE CONTINUE TO INVEST IN RESEARCH IN THOSE DOLLARS TO LOOK AT WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NEW USES; THE NEW THINGS. I KNOW [INAUDIBLE] IS NOT CAN BE TALKED ABOUT TODAY BUT THAT SOMETHING THE FARM BILL WAS INVOLVED WITH AT THE BEGINNING AND WE COMPLETELY SUPPORT AND WOULD URGE YOU TO CONTINUE TO NOT ONLY LEVERAGE THOSE DOLLARS BUT THE DOLLARS THAT WE INVEST IN OUR COMMODITY [INAUDIBLE] INTO RESEARCH SO I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAR BEFORE THIS COMMITTEE. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING AND IT REALLY LISTENING ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT TOPIC IS OUR FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES. IT REALLY HELPS TO IN WHICH THE CHALLENGES WE ARE GOING THROUGH IT I’VE ASKED FOR YOUR HELP TO HELP EXPLAIN THIS TO OTHERS MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE AND WHAT RURAL MINNESOTA IS FEELING RIGHT NOWAND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU MR. PACKARD ABOUT WE GO TO MS. –. WHAT DO A BIT MUSICAL WELCOME TO THE COMMITTEE.>>TESTIFIER: THANK YOU MME. CHAIR AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE. MY NA ME IS [INAUDIBLE] I’M THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE HMONG AMERICAN FARMERS ASSOCIATE IT’S GOOD TO SEE A LOT OF FAMILIAR FACES. SO THANK YOU FOR INVITING US TO BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION. BUT I WANT TO DO IS TO THINGS THAT I WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE CHARGES THAT ARE FARMERS ARE FACINGBUT FOR SOMEONE TO TALK ABOUT WHO ARE FARMERS ARE THEN I DON’T BUT SOME THINGS I THINK ARE WORKING. SO THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NOTHING TO THE FARM THE HMONG AMERICAN PHARMACIST IS A NONPROFIT. WE FOCUS ON 100 HMONG FARMERRS THAT ARE FARMERS ARE MOSTLY FOLKS WHO LIVE IN THE TWIN CITIES WITH A FARM IN RURAL COMMITTEES [INAUDIBLE] OR HUGO.THEY ARE MOSTLY BUT [INAUDIBLE] TO GROW WERE BETWEEN 30 HAVING 60% VARIETIES OF PRODUCE OR FREEZE. THEY GROW PRIMARILY 5-10 ACRES OF LAND AND VERY FEW OF THEM THE AMOUNT OF THEM I KNOW ON OUR OWN. [INAUDIBLE] FOR $500 AN ACRE THAT OFTENTIMES THAT LAND DOESN’T HAVE IRRIGATION AND WHERE THEY FARM [INAUDIBLE] MOST OF THEM PICKED UP PHOTOS SO THE FARMERS MARKET AND SOME OF THEM ARE MOVING MORE INTO SOME TYPE OF AGGREGATION? WE OFFER. SO GIVEN THOSE TYPE OF FARMERS ONLY FOR STARTED HELPING THEM OR WORKING WITH THEM ABOUT FIVE YEARS AGO [INAUDIBLE] MAKING ABOUT $5000 IN SALES AND LAST YEAR BASED ON SOME ANECDOTES AND SOME SURVEYS WE WERE RUNNING THEY WERE MAKING $10;000 IN SALES PER ACRE. SO JUST OVER A PERIOD OF 10 YEARS THERE’S SALES PER ACRE HAS DOUBLED BECAUSE THEY WERE ASKED TO [INAUDIBLE] IN THOSE PROGRAMS INCLUDED ACCESS TO LAND LONG-TERM. WE OPERATE A FARM [INAUDIBLE] IN THE WAY TO ROCHESTER AND WE FARM LITTLE RED HOTS ON. [INAUDIBLE] FEEL FREE TO STOOP BY. ALSO WON A FOOD [INAUDIBLE] AND WE SELL IT TO ABOUT 156 DIFFERENT SCHOOLS; 45 DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS. WE LEARN ABOUT A SIX AND A PERSON [INAUDIBLE] AND WE ALSO OFFER [INAUDIBLE] PHARMACIST MANAGEMENT. WE WORK CLOSELY WITH FARM BUSINESS INSTRUCTORS [INAUDIBLE] THEY HELP FARMERS CREATE BUSINESS PLANS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS THAT THEY HOPE ARE FROM GET ACCESS TO MICROLOANS AND WE ALSO WANT TO RUN A ROBUST RESEARCH AND TRAINING PROGRAM. SO THAT’S A LITTLE BIT ABOUT US AND THAT’S A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR FARMERS. I THINK THAT WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT ARE FARMERS ARE FACING? IT SO INTERESTING WHAT KEVIN SAID BECAUSE THE SAME CHALLENGES ARE VERY [INAUDIBLE] FARMERS ARE FACING. THE FIRST ONE IS CLIMATE CHANGE. LAST YEAR; LAST SEASON OF FARMERS A GREAT PERIODS OF NO RAIN AT ALL AND THEN A TORRENTIAL RAIN. WHERE THEY SAW AFTER TORRENTIAL RAIN THREE HAVING FOUR DAYS OF HEAT JUST CRAZY HIGH TEMPERATURES.GIVEN THOSE WEATHER PATTERNS THOSE CHANGES IN EXTREMES IN WEATHER PLANS A VERY HARD TO RUN A BUSINESS. THERE’S A HAILSTORM ON AVERAGE ARE FARMERS ARE ONLY FARMING 10 [INAUDIBLE] IF THERE’S A HAILSTORM THAT HAILSTORM COULD POTENTIALLY TAKE OUT THE ENTIRE FIELD. EVEN THOUGH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN TRYING TO WORK WITH SPECIALTY GROWERS TO GET CROP INSURANCE THE PROCESS IS STILL REALLY [INAUDIBLE] IF IT’S HARD TO GET HARD CROP INSURANCE YOU HAVE CROP INSURANCE AND A HOST OF COMES AND WORKS OUT YOUR FIELD YOU’RE LEFT WITH [INAUDIBLE] SO; CHANGE IS A REAL ISSUE FOR FARMERS. [INAUDIBLE] HELPING US WITH WAYS WE CAN GET ACCESS TO IRRIGATION OR ACCESS TO OTHER TOOLS TO SUPPORT FARMERS. I KNOW IN THE FEDERAL LEVEL THEY HAVE A CRUSHER PROGRAM FOR [INAUDIBLE] BUT AGAIN THERE’S ALWAYS MORE DEMAND THAN ACTUAL RESOURCE. LIKE THOSE ARE THE ONLY TOOLS THAT HELP FARMERS; SMALL FARMERS CAN MITIGATE AGAINST THE EXTREME WEATHER. THAT’S WHEN THE TRANSFER THAT’S ALSO A POTENTIAL SOLUTION. [INAUDIBLE] I THINK ONE OF THE CHALLENGES THAT ARE FACING A FARMERS PRICES. LAST YEAR; WE WERE WORKING WITH A BUYER LARGE SUPERMARKET AND THEY WANT TO BUY [INAUDIBLE] FROM US I THINK [INAUDIBLE] TRY TO DONATE A PLAN IT SO SWEET IT WAS ON THE GROUND. THIS BUYER WOULD ONLY BY THE [INAUDIBLE] FOR TWO DOLLARS A PINT. WE FEEEL LIKE THE PROMISE MIKE WITH A MINIMUM OF $12 A PINTEVEN THAT WERE NOT BREAKING EVEN BECAUSE IT’S SO LABORIOUS. PEOPLE STILL HAVE THIS IDEA THAT FOOD IS CHEAP AND IT’S NOT CHEAP. IT’S REALLY OF THE BACKS OF FARMERS AND SO I THINK ONE OF THE WAYS THAT YOU AS THE [INAUDIBLE] SUPPORT SCHOOLS. WE HAVE BEEN FINDING THAT IS FARMERS TRY TO FIND NEW MARKETS THE SCHOOLS AND LEARNING INSTITUTIONS ARE BEEN A WONDERFUL ADVOCATE AND ALLY OF OURS THEY ARE BOUNDED BY THEIR BUDGET SO ANYWAYS YOU CAN [INAUDIBLE] MORE MONEY TO BUY LOCAL FOOD AND THAT WOULD BE ADVANTAGEOUS FOR EVERYBODY. THE OTHER TWO CHALLENGES THAT ARE FARMERS ARE FACING [INAUDIBLE] FARMERS ARE THE ETERNAL OPTIMIST BUT I WANT TO SHOW SOMETHING THAT [INAUDIBLE] IS DOING THAT ACTUALLY GOES REALLY WELL NOT ONLY ARE FARMERS BUT FOR THE LARGER COMMUNITY. THE PAST THREE YEARS NOW [INAUDIBLE] ARE WORKING WITH AT THE TIME WAS CALLED [INAUDIBLE] WE WERE WORKING WITH FAIRBAULT TO HAVE THESE [INAUDIBLE] PROGRAM AND THE WAY IT WORKS IS TO IDENTIFY YOU HAVE A PHYSICIAN AND THE PHYSICIAN EDIFIES A FAMILY OR A PATIENT IS INSECURE AND ALSO THE PERSON MAY BE EXPENSING PREDISPOSED TO A DIET -RELATED DISEASE WITHOUT STATE OBESITY OR DIABETES OR HEART DISEASE AND THAT FARMER IDENTIFIES THAT PATIENT AND PUT THEM INTO A [INAUDIBLE] PROGRAM AND THEN THE PATIENT THEN MAYBE STARTING FROM JUNE UNTIL THE END OF NOVEMBER THEY DO A [INAUDIBLE] PEACEFULLY A BOX OF VEGETABLES. THE PHYSICIAN AND HIS OR HER [INAUDIBLE] OF A MONITOR A PERSON’S HEALTH AND THEY LOOK AT THESE INDICATORS THEY WOULD CALL THE [INAUDIBLE] INDICATOR BUT THE INDICATOR OF SOMEONE WHO’S PREDIABETIC AND ALSO THE OTHER TYPE OF BIOMETRICS MAY HAVE A SURVEY WITH A PERSON CAN THEY CHICKEN THAT PERSON’S MENTAL HEALTH AND WE HAVE FOUND JUST IN THE VERY FIRST YEAR [INAUDIBLE] FIVE PATIENTS WE FOUND SPECIFICALLY SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THEIR PREDISPOSITION TO DIABETES AND THE NOW [INAUDIBLE] IN HER FOURTH YEAR WE CELEBRATE [INAUDIBLE] BEEN CREATED AND LAST YEAR THE [INAUDIBLE] UNDERWENT A PROGRAM THEY WERE LOOKING AT THE SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT AND FOR EVERY DOLLAR THAT WAS INVESTED IN THIS PROGRAM $16 OF ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY WAS GENERATED. I MEAN; FOR ME THAT JUST MIND-BOGGLING. NOT ONLY IS THIS PROGRAM [INAUDIBLE] IN TERMS OF PREVENTIVE CARE NOT ONLY TERMS [INAUDIBLE] IS CREATING SOCIAL CAPITAL BUT IT’ S [INAUDIBLE] I THINK AS A STATE WOULD LOVE FOR US TO LOOK AT THE OPPORTUNITIES LIKE THIS THAT WE CAN BE PREVENTIVE BUT ALSO BUILD EACH OTHER UP. THOSE ARE MY COMMENTS THANK YOU MME.>>CHAIR POPPE: YES; THANK YOU. [INAUDIBLE] REPRESENTATIVE MILLER HAS A –>>REPRESENTATIVE MILLER: THANK YOU; MME. CHAIRI DO HAVE A QUESTION. MS. AND I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR ENERGY YOUR ENTHUSIASM AND ENGAGEMENT FOR AGRICULTURE. I CAN TELL YOU HAVE THAT AMONG ALL FARMERS. IT JUST MY MIDDLE AGES SCANDINAVIAN MEN DON’T EXACTLY EXUDED THE WEIGHT SAME WAY YOU DO.>>TESTIFIER: THANK YOU REPRESENTATIVE>>REP RESENTATIVE MILLER: DISCIPLINE I WAS TALKED ABOUT EARLIER THIS ENERGY AND PASSION THAT’S NEEDED AGRICULTURE THAT’S MY QUESTION IS; I WANT TO LEARN MORE. YOU SAID WE COULD COME OUT ANYTIME. I NEED TO KNOW EITHER WHEN MME. CHAIR WE CAN GO ON A FIELD TRIP AND I’LL GO BY MYSELF BUT I CERTAINLY WANT TO KNOW; IS THERE SOMETHING WE WANT TO UNTIL SPRING BREAK? BECAUSE>>TESTIFIER: YES.>>REPRESENTATI VE MILLER: [INAUDIBLE] THE WEATHER IS A BIT OF AN ISSUE IN UP. A MORE OF A SPRINGTIME WE WANT TO SEE BECAUSE CLINTON IS GOING>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE SOME YOUR COLLEAGUES HAVE BEEN ON THE FARM AND WE WOULD LOVE TO SEE YOU ALL AGAIN. IT’S A WONDERFUL WAY TO THINK ABOUT JUST AGRICULTURE MINNESOTA IS CHANGINGAND WE HAVE A GROWING BODY OF VETERAN PRODUCERS NOT JUST AN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY OTHER PLACE TO GO TO [INAUDIBLE] BUT YES; I CAN WORK WITH EACH OTHER AND WE CAN DO A TOUR.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. I DO BELIEVE WE ARE LOOKING AT THAT SO THANKS. REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON B ANDERSON REPRESENTATIVE VERY QUICKLY THE FARM IS SPENT HAS BEEN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CROP INSURANCE WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE. CAN FARMERS TAKE OUT INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE>>TESTIFIER: NO. W E HAVEN’T. [INAUDIBLE] I LOVE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THAT.>>CHAIR POPPE: OKAY. REPRESENTATIVE POSTON>>REPRESENTATIVE POSTON: REPRESENTATIVE THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE TODAY. IT IS GREAT TOUR. I WENT ON THE LAST ONE AND WAS FANTASTIC. MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS HOW MANY SPECIES TO GROW ON THE FARM? I REMEMBER YOU TELLING US THAT AND I FORGOT THE NUMBER BUT IT’S HUGE.>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE OVER 100 DIFFERENT VARIETIES. THAT WE KNOW THAT NUMBER BECAUSE [INAUDIBLE] A CROP MAP EVERY YEAR AND IT’S ALWAYS [INAUDIBLE] BECAUSE THERE’S SO MANY>>REPRESENTATIVE POSTON: THAT’S INCREDIBLE AND THE BEST CAULIFLOWER AROUND. THANK YOU>>CHAIR POPPE: OKAY WE WOULD TURN IT OVER NOW TO THE OTHER TWO PANELISTS HERE. IF YOU WANT TO; CHRIS IS HERE ON BEHALF OF HIS DAD. HE’ S THE PINCH-HITTER HERE SO WE WILL-JUST GO AHE AD>>TESTIFIER: HELLO GREAT PLEASURE TO BE HERE WITH YOU THIS MORNING ADAM CHAIR REPRESENTATIVE. THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT SOME ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT DURING THE SECOND ROUND OF FARM CRISIS CRISIS WERE EXPENSING. I DO HAVE A COLD THERE WITH ME. I’LL TRY TO SPEAK AS CLEARLY AS I CAN. SO; AS REPRESENTATIVE POPPE SAID; MY DAD WAS UNABLE TO MAKE THE DRIVE IN THESE TEMPERATURES. SO I AM HERE IN HIS STEAD. OUR FORM IS BY [INAUDIBLE] MINNESOTA WHICH IS JUST NORTH OF ST. CLOUD . I’VE 200 ACRE FARM [INAUDIBLE] I ACQUIRED IT WITH THE INTENTION OF KEEPING IT A DAIRY FARM. SO I CURRENTLY HAVE CATTLE BUT NOT DAIRY. MY DAD [INAUDIBLE] 50 COWS; TRADITIONAL DAIRY FARM [INAUDIBLE] TO HELP AS WELL. I AM HERE TODAY IS A LAND STEWARDSHIP PROJECT MEMORY. FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT MAY NOT KNOW; I WILL TELL YOU BRIEFLY A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE LAND STEWARDSHIP PROJECT. WE HAVE OVER 4300 HUSTLE BOMBERS; 75% OF WHICH ARE RURAL AND MOST ARE SMALL TO MIDSIZE FAMILY FARMERS. [INAUDIBLE] OFFICES ARE IN LEWISTON MONTEVIDEO AND MINNEAPOLIS. WE HAVE 45 CORE PROGRAMS. SOIL HEALTH; [INAUDIBLE] POLICY ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE-BASED SYSTEM AND MEMBERSHIP. OUR MISSION IS TO FOSTER STEWARDSHIP FOR FARMLAND ; TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND DEVELOPOF THE RURAL COMMITTEES. FOR ME; PROBABLY WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT JUST THINKING ABOUT COMMODITIIES. NOT JUST LOOKING ATPRICES BUT ALSO THINK THAT THE OTHER BENEFITS THAT INDEPENDENT BUSINESSMAN; SELF MAILING FAMILY FARMERS PROVIIDE FOR STATE . CONSERVATION; THE MAINTENANCE OF OUR SCHOOLS; HOSPITALS AND RELATED BUSINESSES. COMING FROM A DAIRY FARM FAMILY WE’VE BEEN ESPECIALLY HARD-HIT THIS LATEST ROUND OF LOW COMMODITY PRICES AND I JUST WANT TO REMIND EVERYBODY THATDAIRY FARMS ARE ESPECIALLY DRY THE LOCAL ECONOMY COULD EVERY TIME WE LOSE A DAIRY FARM WE ARE LOSING [INAUDIBLE]IN OUR COMMITTEE YOU’RE LOSING A TAX BASE. YOU ARE; AS MR. — SAID; LOSING OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO APPLY THEIR LABORAND BUILD A CAREER WITHOUT BEING ALL THAT WELL-CAPITALIZED. SO ESPECIALLY LOSING A DAIRY FARM THAT IS SAD TO ME. SO A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE. I DID LEAVE THE FARM I WENT TO COLLEGE. I WAS A GORGEOUS NOT TOO FAR BUT H AVE A BURNING PASSION TWO.>>[LAUGHING] TO RETURN TO THE LAND AND GIVE IT A TRY. I DO FARM WITH MY FAMILY ANDBUT I’VE ALSO GONE OUT ON MY OWN. I WAS NOT ABLE TO [INAUDIBLE] BEGINNING FROM HER PROGRAMS BECAUSE I DID BUYTHE LAND THAT WAS AFFORDABLE AND BUT IT STILL [INAUDIBLE] CASH FLOW IN THIS WAS IN THE GOOD TIMES. SO WHEN DAIRY PRICES WERE VERY HIGH. IT WASN’T FOR THE FAMILY YOU WOULD NOT BE A BEGINNING FARMER AND I JUST WANT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT WE WANT TO GIVE OPPORTUNITY WHEREVER WE CAN AT THE STATE LEVEL TO PEOPLE OF ALL ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS AND NOT LEAVE BEHIND US THOSE THAT DON’T HAVE AS READILY ACCESS TO CAPITAL CAPITAL. WAS UNABLE TO USE THOSE PROGRAMS. SO I’M HAPPY THEY ARE THERE BUT THEY DO WORK FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE AND ESPECIALLY SUPPORT THE STATE PROVIDES TO BOLSTER WHAT IT CAN GET [INAUDIBLE] THAT IS IMPORTANT.WHEN I CLEARED MY NEW FARM I MEAN WE TRANSITION TO ORGANIC IT BE HAPPY TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROSPECT IT’S A TWO-YEAR PROCESS. IT CAN BE DIFFICULT. IT CAN NEGATIVELY IMPACT PROFITABILITY DURING THOSE TRANSITION YEARS . I BELIEVE ANY OF OUR MENTAL BENEFITS OF ORGANIC FARMING THE MUSCLE INTERESTED IN THE SUPPLY MANAGEMENT THAT THAT NICHE MARKET OFFERS. BUT IT’S A LIMITED NUMBER OF FARMERS INVOLVED IN ORGANIC PRODUCTION AND THAT PROVIDE SOME PRICE STABILITY. SO I DO HAVE THAT ADVANTAGE.. BUT I ALSO STILL GROW CORN AND SOYBEANS CONVENTION. [INAUDIBLE] 5 MILES AWAY FROM MY FARM. SSO I AM NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY THESE VERY VERY LOW CROP PRICES. A SMALL ACREAGE. I AM [INAUDIBLE] BUT STILL NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE A LIVING OFF TO TO CONTINUE TO LIVE OFF THE FARM AND HEALTHCARE REMAINS AN ISSUE FOR ME. SOME IDEAS THAT WE CAN DO; SOME IDEAS FOR THE LEGISLATORSCAN DO NOW TO HELP HER THAT WE CAN INVEST IN THE RESOURCES TO HELP KEEP PEOPLE ON THE FARMS A FULLY FUNDING FARM ADVOCATES PROGRAM CAN AS YOU HEARD IN COMMITTEE LAST WEEK; IF YOUR FARMERS WERE FACING CRISIS BY LETTING HIM KNOW [INAUDIBLE] ASSISTED MEDIATION TO NEGOTIATIONS WITH LENDERS. I FULLY SUPPORT THE BILL OR BY COMMITTEE THIS PAST WEEK AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO FURTHER INCREASE FUNDING FOR FARM ADVOCATES. WE KNOW THEY COULD IMMEDIATELY PUT TO USE A BUDGET OF AT LEAST $320;000 PER YEAR IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS THAT’S A SMALL NUMBER BUT IF IT HELPS EVEN A FEW INDIVIDUALS AND ONTO LAND A BIT IN THEIR FAMILIES 45; SIX; GENERATIONS SOMETHING THEY’VE SPENT THE LAST 5-10 YEARS OF THE LIFE BUILDING; I THINK IT’S WORTH IT. SECONDLY; IF THE COMMITTEE[INAUDIBLE]THEY SHOULD FUND FARMERS AT A RATE OF $160;000 [INAUDIBLE] TRAININGS AND WORKSHOPS; FOR FARMERS FACING FINANCIAL STRESS OR LEGAL STRUGGLES. AS WELL AS STAFFING THE FARM ADVOCATES PROGRAM. THEN; BIG PICTURE; I THINK WE ALL NEED TO KEEP IN MIND THAT SMALL FARMERS INDEPENDENT BUSINESS PEOPLE ARE THE FOUNDATION OF OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES AND THEY ARE A PART OF OUR IDENTITY AS A STATE AND AS A NATION. SO INVESTING IN FARM [INAUDIBLE] ACTION GROUP IS A SMALL STEPS WE CAN TAKE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO FARMERS THAT WE HAVE NOT FORGOT ABOUT THEM THAT WE STILL CARE ABOUT MAINTAINING RURAL COMMUNITIES AND THAT WE ARE PRIORITIZING THEM AND ADDRESSING THEIR NEEDS. THEN; THIS IS THE POINT I’M MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT FARM CRISIS IN THE LONG RUN . I HAVE MY OWN FARM AND DOING THATIN A WAY BY OPTING OUT OF THE TRADITIONAL [INAUDIBLE] BUT THAT’S NOT FOR EVERYBODY. THAT’S A SMALL MINORITY. BUT WHAT WE CAN DO FOR THOSE THAT ARE WILLING TO TRANSITION AWAY FROM OUR CORE COSTS CROPS AS WE CAN SUPPORT NEWS SYSTEMS TO MAKE [INAUDIBLE] COVER CROPPING MORE PROFITABLE SHIPS THEY SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON DEVELOPING LOCAL ORCHIDS INVEST IN PROGRAMS LIKE THE FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR EXPANDING ACCESS INSTITUTIONAL ACCESS; AND HELPING EVERYONE HAVE ACCESS TO HEALTHY FOOD; HEALTHY LOCAL FOOD. THEN WE SHOULD ALSO FUND THE FOR EVERGREEN INITIATIVE. NOW MORE THAN EVER WE NEED TO BE DIVERSIFIED IN OPERATIONS WITH ALTERNATIVE CROPPING SYSTEMS. THE FOR EVERGREEN INITIATIVE IS DOING CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH TO DO [INAUDIBLE] PROFITABLE COVER CROPS AND [INAUDIBLE] IT’LL BE FUNDED AT 5 MILLION [INAUDIBLE] EFFECTIVE AS POSSIBLE. [INAUDIBLE] CLEAN WATER AND CREATED MORE OPTIONS TO THE FARMERS I WANT TO STAY ON THE LINE. I MADE USE OF CONSERVATION PROGRAMS FROM THE STATE AND ANY TIME WE CAN INTERNALIZE OUR EXTERNALITIES ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS WE ARE LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD AND MAKING SMALL FARMERS THAT WE ARE TRYING TO MAINTAIN A COMPETITIVE. THANK YOU MME. CHAIR. THANK YOU; MEMBERS . AND YOU FOR PUTTING UPMY COLD. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS BE HAPPY TO ANSWER THEM AT THE PROPER DUMP>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. JUST A COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENT. THIS WOULD NORMALLY OUR TIME TO[INAUDIBLE] THE WHEEL ANOTHER PANELS AND WE ARE GOING TO HEAR A BILL THAT THAT’S GOING TO BE LAID OVER FOR POSSIBLE INCLUSION IN THE OMNIBUS BILL. SO WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE AND HOPE TO BE DONE BETWEEN NOW AND 11:30 AM. WE WILL RESPECT THE FACT THAT PEOPLE CAME TO GIVE US SOME TESTIMONY AND I THINK THIS IS ENLIGHTENING AND EDUCATIONAL. SO I APPRECIATE IT IF YOU’RE ABLE TO STAY; WE APPRECIATE THAT. WE ARE NOW GOING TO BE A FROM IN –.>>TESTIFIER: THANK YOU MME. CHAIR FOR THE OPPORTUNITY AND MEMBERS AS WELL. MY NAME IS AND SCHWAGER. I FARM IN WESTERN MINNESOTA INDEXING COUNTY IN ORGANIC RAIN AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCER. I’VE BEEN FARMING WITH MY HUSBAND FOR SIX YEARS MAKES US BEGINNING FARMERS. VERY SIMILAR STORY THERE. ORGANIC FARMERS CASH FLOW OUR LAND. CAN FILL A NICHE IN A WAY THAT WE CAN FARM ON THE SMALLER BASE ACREAGE AND SO MAKE A FAMILY LIVING THAT WAY. YOU OBVIOUSLY DON’T NEED ME TO TELL YOU THAT MARGINS ARE TOUGH NOW IN THE AG ECONOMY DATA FROM FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SHOWS [INAUDIBLE] ARE EVEN MORE PRECARIOUS FINANCIAL POSITION AND VIRTUALLY EVERY METRIC THEY TRACK WHETHER THE NET FARM INCOME; FARM SIZE; WORKING CAPITAL; DEBT TO ASSET RATIO; BEGINNING FARMERS ARE AT A COMPETITIVE DISADVANTAGE. THE MORE ESTABLISHED FARMERS. KNOWING THIS; MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE BEEN FORCED TO BE CREATIVE TO FIND WAYS TO SURVIVE DURING THIS AG DOWNTURN. [INAUDIBLE] 2013 AT THE HEIGHT OF THE COMMODITY PRICES AND A GREAT TIME TO GET INTO IT. SO [INAUDIBLE] REALLY CREATIVE CHALLENGE FOR US. ONE OF OUR BIGGEST CONCERNS WAS IN BIG STONE COUNTY HAS BEEN ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE . WE HAVE TWO YOUNG CHILDREN. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACCESS HEALTHCARE FOR OUR FAMILY THROUGH MEDICAL ASSISTANCE ; THROUGH THE EXPANSION OF MEDICAID IN MINNESOTA THANK YOU TO THE LEGISLATURE FOR DOING THAT. WE LIVE RIGHT ON THE BORDER OF SOUTH DAKOTA AND THEY DON’T HAVE THAT WE HAVE MANY FRIENDS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN FORCED TO TAKE OFF ON JOBS TO AFFORD GET HEALTH INSURANCE. SO IS THAT ARE ABLE TO AFFORD THEM ON THE FARM WHICH IS WHAT OUR GOAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN. [INAUDIBLE] ARE NOT MANY HEALTHCARE CHOICES LEFT IN OUR COUNTY. AS WE GROW UP A FAMILY OPERATION HOPEFULLY BECOME MORE PROFITABLE AS A CYCLE TURNS AROUND; WE HOPE THAT THE LEGISLATURE LOOK STANDBY INTO MINNESOTA CARE SO WE CAN ACCESS IT ANYTIME AND IT CAN LEVEL KIND OF THE INSURANCE COMPETITIVE PLAYING FIELD. I AM ABLE TO KEEP CLOSE EYE ON MY OPTIONS THANKS TO FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT. FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT ATTENDEES COURSE TAKE OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS THROUGH THE MNSCU SYSTEM [INAUDIBLE]TO GREAT CASUALS; KNOW EXACTLY [I NAUDIBLE] AND EVALUATE THE POSSIBILITY OF POTENTIAL NEW ENTERPRISES. I THEN HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN PREPARED AND LAID OUT WE GO TO OUR LENDER FOR CREDIT ON A NEW PURCHASE OR ON AN ANNUAL OPERATING LOAN WHICH IS HELPED HOLD THROUGH FSA FOR THE FIRST FOUR YEARS THAT WE WERE INVOLVED IN FARM BUSINESS MANAGEMENT WE QUALIFIED FOR THE BEGINNING FARMERS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM WHICH UPSET OUR TUITION COSTS TO AN EXTENT THAT WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO AFFORD IT WITH HELP OF THE BEGINNING FARM TASK OPERATED BY [INAUDIBLE]’S PROGRAMS CAN HELP MAKE OUR TUITION AFFORDABLESO WE CAN CONTINUE TO BE EDUCATED BY OUR INSTRUCTOR ON THAT BUT WE ARE FORTUNATE TO LIVE IN BIG STONE COUNTY WHICH WAS 2014-15 RECIPIENT OF A BORDER TO BORDER DEVELOPMENT FOR HIGH-SPEED INTERNET. WE HAVE ACCESS TO HIGH-SPEED BROADBANDWHICH HELPS US IN A MYRIAD OF WAYS. FROM TRADEMARK INTO THE DIRECT MARKETING OF OUR MEAT WHICH [INAUDIBLE] ACCESSING THE GREATEST ECONOMIC DATA. [INAUDIBLE] AND ESPECIALLY OVER THE WINTER WE RESEARCH AND IMPROVE OUR AGRONOMIC KNOWLEDGE WITH ACCESS TO THE INTERNET IS STILL SO BASIC. WE CAN BECOME BETTER FARMERS WITH RELIABLE THREAT ACCESS. SO IN CLOSING THE SHORT AND SWEET I DIDN’T WANT TO TAKE TOO MUCH MORE OF YOUR TIME BEING A FAMILY SKILL PRODUCER IS NOT AN EASY PROFESSION ESPECIALLY RIGHT NOW. IT THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF STATE AND FEDERAL PROGRAMS THAT GIVES US THE RESOURCES AND SECURITY NOT ONLY TO SURVIVE BUT ALSO TO GROW AND THRIVE. THANK YOU YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION TODAY.. I’M HERE IF YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS. I’LL BE AVAILABLE AFTER YOU GUYS ARE DONE.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE PRESENTATION.FOR YOU AND FOR EVERYBODY AT THE PANEL; I THINK THIS IS VERY HELPFUL EDUCATIONAL AND WE WILL MOVE ON TO THE BILL NEXT BUT KEEP IN MIND; TODAY IS ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO WALK THROUGH THE TUNNEL THAT WE HAVE TO GET TO THE VAULT OR THE BASEMENT OF THE CAPITAL THAT AND ENJOY SOME ICE CREAM. MINNESOTA MILK TODAY IS PROVIDING ICE COMPUTER SO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT AND I KNOW MANY MEMBERS ARE REMINDED AS WELL REPRESENTATIVE BRAND; IF YOU WANT TO GET READY FOR YOUR HEARING>>REPRESENTATIVE BECKER-FINN: THANK YOU TO EACH OF YOU PEOPLE MAY WANT TO INTERACT A LITTLE BIT MORE AND WE ARE LIKELY TO TAKE SOME TORS AND VISIT SOME OF THESE AREAS. SO GLAD TO HAVE THIS INFORMATION. REPRESENTATIVE BRAND; WE HAVE ABOUT 10 MINUTES FOR YOUR PRESENTATION AND I AM GOING TO JUST — THIS IS THE ONE BILL. TURNOVER TO REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BRANDT>>REPRESENTATIVE BRAND: WE WILL MOVE ON THIS QUICK. YOU’LL PROBABLY NOT WHAT WE ARE TOO MUCH OF ME. ABOUT SOME PEOPLE WITH ME THAT IS CONFUSING QUESTIONS BUT IT IS HOUSE FILE 158 FOR POSSIBLE INCLUSION IN THE OMNIBUS FINANCE BILL.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. I KNOW THERE’S AN AUTHOR AMENDMENT AS WELL REPRESENTATIVE BRAND WOULD LIKE TO OFFER THAT AMENDMENT. YES. I MOVE THE A – 19 B DON’T>>CHAIR POPPE: THE A – 19 001 AMENDMENT THAT SOME PEOPLE’S PACKET. WE’RE GONNA GO AHEAD AND MOVE. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR SAY; AYE. [CHORUS OF AYES.] THE MOTION PREVAILS. AMENDMENT IS ADOPTED REPRESENTATIVE BRAND GIVEN YOUR VOICE AND SITUATION AND I KNOW YOU HAVE AN EXPERT BECAUSE I’M AWARE MR. CARLSON. IF YOU WANT TO GO AHEAD ON YOUR BEHALF. I THINK PLEASE GO AHEAD AND DO THAT. WELCOME TO THE COMMITTEE.>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY BEEN AM SCOTT CARLSON. IN THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR THE FARMERLEGAL ACTION GROUP. WHICH IS ALSO KNOWN AS FLAG GIVE A TIME CONSTRAINT I THINK I’LL GIVE A VERY BRIEF SUMMARY OF WHAT FL AG IS AND WHAT WE CURRENTLY ARE DOING AND I CAN TOUCH AND WHAT WE MIGHT WILL DO WITH INCREASE FUNDING. TO RESPOND TO MINNESOTA FARMERS AND FINANCIAL DISTRESS. FLAG IS A NATIONAL NONPROFIT LA W CENTER HEADQUARTERED IN ST. PAUL. WAS CREATED IN 1986 DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE FARM CRISIS THAT YOU ALL KNOW ABOUT. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FAMILY FARMS THE FAMILIES WERE LOSING [INAUDIBLE] YOU MAY RECALL IN THE FALL OF 1985 WILLIE NELSONHELD THE FIRST FARM IT CONCERT JUST OUT OF CHICAGO. IN THE SPRING OF 1986 THE FIRST CHECK HE WROTE WAS TOO GREAT THE FARMERS LEGAL ACTION GROUP IN MINNESOTA AND WAS THAT CHECK IN SOME STATE FUNDING THE CREATED FLAG JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN 32 YEARS AGO. AND OUR MISSION IS TO PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES TO FAMILY FARMERS IN THEIR COMMUNITIES TO HELP KEEP FAMILY FARMERS ON THE LAND. EARLY IN ITS EXISTENCE DURING THE FARM CRISIS FLAG REPRESENT A CLASS OF ANY FARMERS THAT WAS SUCCESSFUL IN HAVING A FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERED AN INJUNCTION TO STOP THE FORECLOSURE OF 80;000 FARMS. SINCE THEN; OUR SERVICES HAVE BROADENED AND WE FUNCTION AS A FULL-SERVICE NONPROFIT PUBLIC INTEREST LAW FIRM. WE WORK DIRECTLY WITH THOSE INDIVIDUAL FARMERS AND ALSO PROVIDE LEGAL SUPPORT TO OTHER NONPROFITS THAT SUPPORT FARMERS SUCH AS THE MINNESOTA FARMERS UNION; THE LAND STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM; REALLY ANY WE WORK WITH ANY ORGANIZATION AS LONG AS [INAUDIBLE] SUPPORTS OUR MISSION WHICH AGAIN IS KEEPING FAMILY FARMERS ON THE LAND. WHEN ONE OF THE CORE COMPONENTS OF OUR WORK IS WORKING WITH LOW INCOME AND UNDERSERVED FARMERS SUCH AS MINORITIES IMMIGRANTS REFUGEE FARMERS; AND ANY OTHER UNDERSERVED FARMERS IN MINNESOTA. ONE OF OUR CORE PROGRAMS NOW IS CONDUCTING FARMER EDUCATION AND OUTREACH ON LAWS AND PROGRAMS THAT WILL HELP THEM SUSTAIN THEIR FARMING OPERATIONS. WE DRAFT A LOT OF FARMERS GUIDES THAT ARE INTENDED TO HELP FARMERS HELP THEMSELVES WITH REGARD TO CERTAIN ISSUES SUCH AS THE FARM INCOME STABILIZATION PROGRAMS ON THE FARM BILL IN FARM SERVICES PROGRAMS; CROP INSURANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS WHICH ARE CRUCIAL TO US NOW AND THERE ARE NEW PRODUCTS THAT HELP FARMERS GUARANTEE A LEVEL OF REVENUE; NOT ONLY CERTAIN LEVELS OF COMMODITY BUT ESPECIALLY WHEN HELP WHEN PRICES ARE LOCATED WE DO A LOT OF WORK ON DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS AND WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON MANY OTHER THINGS SUCH A FARMERS GUIDE TO SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY; LEARNING LAW PUBLICATION IS ABOUT TO COME OUT THAT I THINK WILL BE KEY AS WE GET INTO THE SPRING AND WE ALSO DO A LOT ANOTHER COMPONENT IS POLICY ANALYSIS FOR THE OTHER NONPROFITS IN MINNESOTA WHO SUPPORT FARMERS COULD WE OCCASIONALLY DO ENGAGE IN IMPACT LITIGATION WHERE IF ONE CASE; ONE LEGAL REMEDY WOULD PROVIDE BENEFITS TO A BROAD NUMBER OF MINNESOTA FARMS AND — AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS WE DO AND I WILL AND WITH THIS; IS OPERATE A HOTLINE. WE OPERATE A NATIONAL HOTLINE [INAUDIBLE] JUST FOR MINNESOTANS WERE FARMERS CAN CALL UP; EMAILS; CONTACT US THROUGH A CONTACT FORM AND WE PROVIDE LEGAL ASSISTANCE RIGHT OVER THE PHONE IF WE CAN. SOMETIMES IT REQUIRES LONGER-TERM REPRESENTATION. WITH THAT; I’LL BE HAPPY TO DISTRIBUTE A ONE PAGER IN WRITING TO THE COMMITTEE BE HAPPY TO COME BACK AND MEET WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL REPRESENTATIVES WERE TAKEN A QUESTION.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. REPRESENTATIVE LUECK>>REPRESENTATIVE LUECK: THANK YOU; MME. CHAIR I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT GOOD COPIES OF YOUR FORM 990S UP THROUGH THE MOST RECENTLY FILED I FOUND THAT SOMETIMES IS VERY HELPFUL TO SEE A LITTLE MORE DETAIL INTO EXACTLY WHAT KIND OF PROGRAMS YOU HAVE AND WHO’S BEING COMPENSATED. SO I DEFINITELY WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT RIGHT OF THE LAST ONE FILED EVENTUALLY WILL BECOME PUBLIC IN BUT I THINK THE LAST ONE IS 2016. SO I’D BE VERY INTERESTED TO SEE EXACTLY WHAT’S GOING ON THERE.>>TESTIFIER: ADAM CHAIR REPRESENTATIVE I’LL BE HAPPY TO PROVIDE>>CHAIR POPPE: YOU CAN FORWARD TO THE COMMITTEE AND WILL DISTRIBUTE THOSE OF THE COMMITTEE>>TESTIFIER: GLAD TO THAT>>CHAIR HOPPE: WE MAY BE A 45 SECONDS FOR MR. MILLER>>REPRESENTATIVE MILLER:>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; MEMBERS THE COMMITTEE AND BRUCE MILLER WITH MINNESOTA FARMERS UNION. I JUST WANT TO TWO POINT ONE IS A WANT TO EXPRESS MINNNESOTA FARMERS UNION POLICY IS VOTED ON BY THE MEMBERSHIP STRONGLY SUPPORTS FUNDING AND GREATER SUPPORT FOR THE FARMERS LEGAL ACTION GROUP. AND THE KIND OF SUPPORT THEY ARE ABLE TO GIVE TO FARMERS IN NEED. TODAY; AND LAST WEEK WE HEARD FROM A NUMBER OF PEOPLE ABOUTTHE STRESS THAT FARMERS ARE IN. WE ALSO TODAY HEARD THAT FARMERS NEED STRONG BANKERS THAT FARMERS HAVE FAITH AND ABOUT WAS FOUND THAT MOVING FORWARD ; MAKING SURE WE SELL PROMS IT’S GOOD TO HAVE FAITH IN A BANKER; AND A LAWYER. SO I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR US TO RECOGNIZE THAT THIS ORGANIZATION FARMERS LEGAL ACTION GROUP; PROVIDES A MUCH NEEDED SERVICE TO FARMERS SOMETIMES THAT’S NOT SEEN BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT WE ARE OFTEN ABLE TO REFER PEOPLE WHO CONTACT US TO FARMERS LEGAL ACTION GROUP AND THEY ARE IF THEY CAN BE HELPED FLAG WILL DO THAT. SO MME. CHAIR; AGAIN; MINNESOTA FAARMERS UNION POLICYSTRONGLY SUPPORTS FLAG AND INCREASE FUNDING FOR THEM AND WE URGE TO MOVE FORWARD AND I’LL BELOOKING FORWARD TO VISITING WITH ALL OF YOU BUT THIS MULTITUDE OF OTHER ISSUES. SO THANK YOU FOR THE TIME ADAM CHAIR.>>CHAIR POPPE: MR. STEFAN YOU HAVE ABOUT 30 SECONDS.>>TESTIFIER: [INAUDIBLE] SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WILL HAPPEN OUTSIZE IMPACT ON INDIVIDUALS. AS THE FARM CRISIS LIKELY CONTINUES TO WORSEN IT WILL INCREASE SERVICES BUT ALSO INCREASE THE [INAUDIBLE] WE FULLY SUPPORT THIS AND TO BE HELPFUL TO INDIVIDUAL FARMERS.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU.>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; ONE QUICK THING. A LOT OF FARMERS WILL BE HERE NEXT TUESDAY; FEBRUARY 5 IF YOU ARE TALK TO THE FARMERS SPECIFIC ABOUT THIS. WE ARE BRINGING ICE CAN BUT WE WILL BRING OUR CHARM AND OUR ENERGY.>>CHAIR POPPE: THANK YOU. REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON>>REPRESENTATIVE ANDERSON: JUST A QUICK ONE; MME. CHAIR. THANK YOU. AS YOUR EVER I CAN ORGANIZE IS NEVER TAKEN A STANCE AGAINST ANIMAL AGRICULTURE; WHAT IS YOUR STANCE TOWARDS LIVESTOCK AND ANIMAL AGRICULTURE?>>TESTIFIER: MME. CHAIR; REPRESENTATIVE IS A NONPROFIT PUBLIC INTEREST LAW FIRM WE DON’T TAKE POSITIONS ON THINGS . WE ARE OCCASIONALLY ASKED ABOUT THE IMPACT OF CERTAIN PROPOSALS AND WE HAVE TESTIFIED AND WILL TESTIFY ON WHAT WE BELIEVE WOULD BE THE IMPACT. THE LEGAL IMPACT OF CERTAIN THINGS BUT FLAG IS AN ORGANIZATION COULD WE DON’T HAVE MEMBERS. WE DON’T TAKE POSITIONS. THE POSITIONS WOULD BE THAT OF OUR CLIENTS PROBABLY.>>CHAIR POPPE: ALL RIGHT. REPRESSENTATIVE BRAND; I KNOW MORE PEOPLE LIKE TO SPEAK ON THIS WILL BE ABLE TO BE BETTER EDUCATED ABOUT IT. IT IS A BILL THAT WE ARE GOING TO LAY OVER. SO IF YOU JUST CONCLUDE AND RENEW YOUR MOTION>>REPRESENTATIVE BRAND: THIS IN IMPORTS BILL. I WOULD JUST RENEW MY MOTION THAT HOUSE FILE 158 AS AMENDED OF COURSE BE LAID OVER FOR POSSIBLE INCLUSION IN THE FINANCE BILL>>CHAIR POPPE:>>[INAUDIBLE / OFF MICROPHONE]>>>>[LAUGHING]>>CHAIR POPPE: ALL RIGHT. HOUSE FILE 158 AS AMENDED IS LAID OVER. SO WE ARE THE END OF OUR WORK TODAY. JUST A REMINDER TO EVERYONE MINNESOTA MILK HAS ICE CREAM AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CAPITAL WHICH IS THE NEW NAME I THINK FOR THE BASEMENT OF THE CAPITAL. WE ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO GO AND DO THAT AND NEXT WEEK WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AND HOPEFULLY THE WEATHER IS MUCH MILDER. WITH THAT; NEEDING A JOB. THANKS>>[GAVEL]>>[ADJOURNMENT]>>

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