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Bipartisan Family Farmer Relief Act to Ease Bankruptcy Rules
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/20/2019

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig deeply understands that farmers across the district are facing a difficult economic climate with decreasing commodity prices and a harmful trade war. That's why Craig announced she has cosponsored the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019.

The bill would ease the process of restructuring farm debt through Chapter 12 Bankruptcy rules, by expanding the debt cap that can be covered under Chapter 12 Bankruptcy from $3,237,000 to $10,000,000. As farm operations have changed in size and land value, this bill gives farmers flexibility to manage financial stress during this farm economy downturn.

"The hard work of our farmers puts food on our tables, powers our vehicles, and drives our economy forward, but unfortunately this reckless trade war and dwindling commodity prices have taken a serious financial toll on family farmers who just want to pass their farms on to the next generation," said Craig. "While this bill is an important step to help farmers manage debt, I implore my colleagues to put politics aside and stay focused on addressing the trade issues causing financial stress in Greater Minnesota."

The bill is strongly supported by the Minnesota Farmers Union and the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation.

"MFBF appreciates Representative Craig's support for the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019," said Kevin Paap, president of Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. "Minnesota farmers are weathering financial and emotional challenges under the current farm economy. This bill provides the restructuring and seasonal repayment flexibility that many farmers need in today's lagging farm economy and will help to align bankruptcy law with the scale and credit needs of U.S. agriculture."

"I talk to farmers nearly every day who are facing low prices, high input costs, and unpredictable weather, all of which have led to historically low farm incomes and increased debt," said Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish. "Family farmers are hurting and reform is needed. I'm glad to see Congresswoman Craig join members of the Minnesota delegation as a cosponsor and leader on this issue."

Since being sworn in, Craig has stood up for family farmers throughout the Second District. Craig has held several listening sessions with family farmers to discuss the need for trade negotiations, timely implementation of the dairy program, and expansion of mental health resources in rural areas. She has also repeatedly called for the Administration to end its reckless trade war that continues to use farmers as political pawns. Listening to farmers, bringing their concerns to her work on the Agriculture Committee, and supporting Minnesota's farm economy continue to be Craig's top priorities.

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