DGA Update: MDA Report Illustrates Issues Facing Emerging Farmers

The demographic of farmers is changing as more women and minority groups are getting involved in agriculture. The Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture has been busy making a plan to help these emerging farmers; Patrice Bailey, MDA assistant commissioner, started by hosting six listening sessions around the state to discover how we can help advance the success and sustainability of farmers who face barriers in building profitable agricultural businesses, especially women, veterans, persons with disabilities, indigenous farmers, and farmers of color. I attended a session in Marshall, and it was great to see so many people come out and voice their opinions.

The main themes across the state were similar: racism, school loans, predatory lending, healthcare and finances. MDA took results from its survey and listening session input and the findings spoke loudly for the creating of a new “Emerging Farmers Working Group,” with more details to be released in the coming weeks.

Click here to view the report. I challenge you to read it and find out what emerging farmers are facing today.

For more information or questions about the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program, contact me at 320-815-9293 or angie@sfa-mn.org.