Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Experience a Low-Stress Holiday Season

Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

As you gear up for the holiday season, take a moment to think ahead about possible stressors. Explore and practice healthy management strategies. Positive strategies can help you find more enjoyment throughout the holiday season and limit the ways stress exhausts your health and wellness. Contact Nora Rhoades at 785-346-2521 or nrhoades@ksu.edu to discuss your experience and to explore healthy strategies that can work for you!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Financial and agricultural resources available for producers with the Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services

Sandra Wick, Crop Production Agent

This has been a really crazy time for farm families with drilling wheat and harvesting fall crops along with financial stresses with the low commodity prices.  Did you know that K-State Research and Extension has a program called, the Kansas Agricultural Mediation services or also known has KAMS that has been available to farm families for over 25 years to help with agricultural legal matters and your financial questions?  KAMS connects producers with the right resources for any of your ag-related issues or concerns.  The initial contact is with a toll free number at 1-800-321-3276 or 1-800-321-FARM!  From this contact the staff will direct your questions and inquiries to the most appropriate specialists depending on your situation.  Email can also be used at kams@ksu.edu and their website is www.ksre.ksu.edu/kams.

So just what are some of the services that KAMS offers?  There are basically 4 areas that KAMS can help farm fam ilies look more closely within their operation including Agricultural financial counseling, Legal assistance, Agricultural credit mediations and Farm Succession.  An important part of working with the KAMS staff is confidentiality.  This assures participants that they may speak openly and may be more willing to discuss their interests and possible solutions.

So let’s start with the Agricultural financial counseling.  KAMS provides financial analysis through the K-State Research and Extension Farm Analyst program and helps producers determine their financial stability of the farm operation along with developing options and other alternatives that might be considered.  The analysis is made available at little or no cost to qualified producers.

The next service is legal assistance where KAMS has an agreement with Kansas Legal Services to provide legal advice and possible representation to Kansas farm families on a reduced-fee basis, depending on that person's level of income. Attorneys help families understand the laws and regulations governing ag issues that may be involved in the mediation process, as well as their legal rights and options.
Agricultural credit mediations is another service available from KAMS and allows farm families to request mediation for their financial concerns.   The program helps clients prepare for mediation to more effectively resolve disputes between ag producers and their creditors.

Last, but certainly not the least, is helping farm families with Farm Succession.  Many Kansas families are facing issues with transitioning the farm. KAMS can assist with transition concerns such as mergers of family farm businesses, passing the farm onto new generations, division or liquidation of farm assets, and resolving conflicts between family members. Often the idea of opening conversation about future plans may be difficult, but a call to KAMS can help family members start the communication process.

Whenever a producer sees potential risks that may have an adverse effect on their family or business, now is the time to be proactive. Not everything can be planned for, but if evaluated and managed properly early on, the risks involved can be reduced. KAMS professionals offer education and assistance from a neutral, non-emotional standpoint.  Remember the toll free number is 1-800-321-3276 or 1-800-321-FARM with the website www.ksre.ksu.edu/kams.

For more information on the Kansas Ag Mediation Services, you can stop by or call me at any of our Post Rock Extension District Offices in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.

Post Rock Extension District of K-State Research and Extension serves Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, and Smith counties. Sandra may be contacted at swick@ksu.edu or by calling Smith Center, 282-6823, Beloit 738-3597, Lincoln 524-4432, Mankato 378-3174, or Osborne 346-2521.  Join us on Facebook at “Post Rock Extension”.  Also remember our website is www.postrock.ksu.edu and my twitter account is @PRDcrops.