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In Edible-Alpha® Podcast Episode #9, Tera talks with Paul Dietmann of Badgerland Financial about the Farm Credit system and opportunities for farmers to access the financing they need. The Farm Credit system consists of a farmer owned, farmer led co-ops which primarily lend to farmers and any agriculture producers anywhere in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, including manufacturing companies if majority owned by farmers. Badgerland also has a tax and accounting division to help serve their clients.
Paul leads the Emerging Markets program at Badgerland, providing loans to non-traditional farmers like CSAs and value-added on-farm processors as well as educational opportunities around financial literacy, financial statements and what it takes to successfully repay a loan. He works with farmers on creative solutions to their financing needs, which might mean leasing certain things and taking out a loan to own others, financing parts of the operation in segments while the business is building its cash flow and brand.
Paul also discussed the newly released 2nd edition of a co-authored book, Fearless Farm Finances, released in partnership with the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) to serve as a reference for all things financial relating to farming enterprises and a farmer-friendly textbook for use in training by him and others across the country. He is particularly excited to see more young people interested in farming and their willingness to learn the financial side of farming in order to be successful.