NEW ULM, Minn. (KEYC) — The 32nd Agricultural Lending Conference, the largest agricultural lending conference in the Midwest, was held this week in New Ulm, addressing major impacts in agriculture.
Around 350 agriculture lenders gathered at the Agricultural Lending Conference, hosted by Gislason & Hunter Law Firm, to stay up to date on new laws, cases and important agriculture topics.
“A lot of the agricultural lenders know each other, they’ve known each other for years and this is a time for them to get together and talk, share stories, share what they’ve seen out there that’s going on with respect to ag lending, and they enjoy the time to catch up with each other,” said partner of Gislason & Hunter Law Firm, Michael Dove.
“Especially in light of the agricultural times that we’re facing right now. It’s nice to know what’s going on out there and what they’re seeing and get a broader viewpoint,” said Shannon Hillesheim, president of marketing for Bank Midwest.
Topics included the recent change in the Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Law.
“That increased the debt up to $10 million dollars, so that will have a big impact if a farmer goes into bankruptcy, it increases his opportunities of how to enter into chapter 12, it will also impact the lenders,” said Dove.
In light of recent markets and weather complications, it’s important for agricultural lenders to stay up to date on their practices.
“As a lender we’re all seeing an uptick in farm bankruptcies and just mediation and how we navigate through that, making sure our loan documents are in the right order right now in case we are facing a tougher time with a farmer,” said Hillesheim.
“It’s more important now than ever that we have these types of conferences so that lenders do keep abreast on what is happening in agriculture and can take the actions necessary to protect their lending institution and also their farm customers,” said Brian Hartman, the farm loan program chief for Minnesota.