Farm Center Here to Lend a Helping Hand
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Release Date: April 5,
Media Contacts: Rick
Hummell, 608-224-5041, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Bill Cosh,
Communications Director, 608-224-5020, William2.Cosh@wisconsin.gov
from the loss of a processor or low commodity prices or even just considering transitioning
the farm to the next generation, Wisconsin farmers can benefit from helpful
information and support.
Since the mid-1980s, thousands
of farm families have turned to the Wisconsin
Farm Center, which provides an extensive array of services to farmers, often in
cooperation with the university, governmental or private sector.
“The Farm Center mission is help farmers with
both the challenges and opportunities inherent in farming,” said DATCP
Secretary Ben Brancel. “The Center’s agricultural economic development
consultants help Wisconsin farmers deal with the critical economic, business
and social needs of farm families.
“Each situation is different and unique, but
the Farm Center experts have the experience and the knowledge of farm
operations to help make these transitions go smoothly,” added Brancel. “They
are dedicated to keeping people in farming and growing Wisconsin’s leadership
financial and business consultation, farm succession planning, farm ownership
transition planning, conflict mediation, production challenges, legal and
financial mediation, and other assistance. Professional and confidential
services offered through the Farm Center are provided at no cost.
“The nature of our call
volume often depends on what is going on in the bigger farming picture,” said
Kathy Schmitt, Farm Center director. “Right now, we are expecting to hear from
more dairy producers seeking assistance in finding processors willing to take
on more volume.”
the calls for advice or assistance come in to the center’s telephone Help Line
(1-800-942-2474) and are directed to staff agricultural consultants with
expertise in a wide variety of areas. Schmitt said in recent years, the center
has handled approximately 1,200 calls annually.
financial counselors are out in the field, sitting down with people at the
kitchen table, and helping them plan for profit,’ said Schmitt. “We can also be
a major tool in the toolbox of beginning farmers, as well as for farming
families looking to transition from one generation to the next,” said Schmitt.
Center’s core programs include:
Consultants help Wisconsin farmers deal with the critical economic, business
and social needs of farm families including financial and business
consultation, farm succession planning, conflict mediation, and production
Livestock Grazing and Specialty Crops:
This program provides information and technical assistance to organic growers
and processors. In addition, the program works to strengthen farm support
services and processing capacity, along with a host of other services,
including information on the latest developments in technology that can impact
organics, livestock grazing and specialty crops farmers.
This program provides outreach and risk management assistance to beginning and
minority farmers to increase their sustainability and profitability. The
program emphasizes working with Hmong fresh market producers and Hmong ginseng
growers, but assists all minority farmers facing production or marketing
challenges and opportunities
This program provides mediation services for farmer disputes ranging from
credit issues to environmental concerns to farm family conflicts. Mediation
involves a neutral individual who helps facilitate negotiation and
understanding between conflicting parties. Confidentiality is upheld throughout
the mediation process.
and small agribusiness owners can get in touch with the Farm Center through the
toll-free line at 1-800-942-2474. For more information about the Farm Center,