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Farm business management scholarships available

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is announcing a new farm business management scholarship program, funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to a press release.

Nearly $250,000 in scholarships will be available to farmers negatively affected economically by COVID-19. Priority will be given to farmers engaged in any stage of mediation or bankruptcy between March 2 and Dec. 30.

An estimated 350 Minnesota farmers are currently distressed due to the COVID-19 impact, including farmers in mediation, bankruptcy, foreclosure and debt restructuring, the release stated.

The FBM program offered by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system helps farmers manage their finances and learn how to navigate the financial systems of farming. The scholarships will cover approximately 75% of the cost of tuition.

To apply, contact an FBM instructor. Applicants must be registered for at least 10 credits for either fall, spring or a combination by Dec. 10.

Funding for the program is made available through the CARES Act, and is part of a $7.7 million plan announced earlier this month by MinnesotaGov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan to support agricultural producers, meat processors and farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more, contact Keith Olander, director, Minnesota State Northern Agricultural Center of Excellence, at keith.olander@clcmn.edu or 281-894-5163; or Brad Schloesser, director, Minnesota State Southern Agricultural Center of Excellence at brad.schloesser@southcentral.edu or 507-389-7263.