When Will Farm Credit Help Beginning Farmers

Leave it to the Farm Credit System (FCS) and its defenders to say the obvious and do little to actually bring it about. Young, beginning and small farmers across the country are hungry for credit, and the FCS has an abundance of resources to lend to them. According to Farms.com, the Farm Credit Council’s (FCC) Mark Hayes recently said “If someone is going to get started in farming they need to be able to get to the point of being commercially viable.”

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Credit where credit’s due

If it were a bank, the Farm Credit System (FCS) would be the seventh largest in the country. At $320 billion in total assets, the FCS has grown beyond its mission. How did it get there?
There are many reasons, but one’s certain: it has neglected the credit needs of young, beginning and small farmers.


Farm Credit’s Lax Standards

Congress needs to act. The FCS has shown, repeatedly, that it cares more about profits than it does farmers, especially young, beginning and small farmers. Congress, take action: keep the FCS in line by cracking down and making sure that a certain percentage of loans are for small, young and beginning farmers. Future Americans will thank you.

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Let’s Really Help Farmers

The FCS has neglected the credit needs of young, beginning and small farmers for at least a decade. Instead of making loans to the people who need credit the most, FCS lenders have dominated the agricultural real estate lending market, holding over half of all real estate loans.


Big Surprise! Farm Credit Faced Yet Another Oversight Hearing

The Farm Credit System (FCS) and the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), only a month after being exposed at the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee oversight hearing, were called before the House Committee on Agriculture for a “review”. Review is a bit of an understatement; if the FCS and the FCA have any more reviews like this then they’ll suffocate under the weight of the criticism.

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Farm Credit Faced an Oversight Hearing – Again

Rep. DeLauro has said what many have thought: Congress desperately needs to reform Farm Credit. So far, multiple committees in both the House and the Senate have decided that Congress needs to take a closer look at the FCS and the FCA. And it should, because the FCS is on the precipice: it is growing larger every day, small farmers are being neglected and the FCS continues to make loans outside of its mission. Congress needs to act now.

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The Farm Credit System (FCS) has been having some serious trouble with the law.

If the FCA won’t step in, then Congress needs to. Congress – whether it’s the House or Senate Committees on Agriculture of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform or the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs – needs to act before it’s too late.

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Did Farm Credit East Commit a Crime?

For now, it looks like Farm Credit East has temporarily evaded justice, and the FCS and the FCA have escaped blame for their negligence. But they’ll soon reap what they’ve sewn.

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CoBank Lends to Publicly-Traded REIT

CoBank just doesn’t seem to get it. Month after month, quarter after quarter and year after year, CoBank extends questionable loans to what it considers “agricultural” entities. Loans to telecommunication companies, CoBank’s customers of choice, are usually defended as necessary for providing broadband access to farmers. And despite the fact that CoBank is only authorized to loan to cooperatives, it loans to large multinational corporations all the same.

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Midsize farms are declining – is Farm Credit helping?

The FCS has a duty, outlined in statute, to provide reliable access to credit for small farmers. So far, it hasn’t done its best to provide that access. And when government agencies don’t follow their mission, it’s time for Congress to take them to task.

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