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Minnesota Farm Advocate Oral History Project: Interview with Ben Dannheim
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Ben Dannheim, his wife Arla and their two children live on their (hog) farm, which they started, essentially from wilderness, in 1972. They own 120 acres and rent an additional 40 acres. He grew up in town, she on a farm. Ben received an Outstanding Young Farmer Award in 1983 and has been a Farm Advocate since the spring of 1986. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: All Advocates, Dannheim says, have basically the same goal: to help their clients find long-range solutions for their financial problems. The clients must make the main decisions, e.g. whether or not to even try to stay on the farm. The Advocates can clarify what is and what is not possible and assist them take over managing their own affairs. He discusses preparing for and working through a mediation or negotiation: Go through the background with the farmer and try to decide what the particular lender may do. Then work out two or three strategies to keep the farmer on the farm (if that is what he wants). In the mediation/negotiation session, carry the discussion to the lender, try to place him on the defensive. He feels that the Farm Advocate Program has been a major force in keeping farmers on their farms and even in helping uncover irregularities in Governmental bureaus which deal with farm problems. He says that Advocates work best from their own homes rather than from central offices, as was proposed under RERC. Asked about negatives of the Program, he indicates that Advocates are underpaid, particularly as to expenses incurred by themselves and their families as a result of work on the Program and that more backup support should be provided re day-to-day problems.
1.5 hours sound cassette
26 pages transcript
Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Interviewee: Dannheim, Ben
Interviewer: Hunter, Dianna
Interviewer: Meter, Ken
Made in [vicinity]: Laporte, Hubbard County, Minnesota, United States
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 37 (Library Call Number)
AV1991.158.5 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Farm Advocate Oral History Project'