Optimistic Outlook for Farm Banks in 2015

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Farm banks are well positioned for 2015. Add this to the growing list of facts and projections that Farm Credit would rather the American public not hear.

According to the American Bankers Association’s annual Farm Bank Performance Report released today, farm banks upped their agricultural lending by a staggering 13.6 percent in 2014.

Among the reports’ key additional findings, farm banks in 2014:

  • Produced over 2,300 jobs,
  • Employed more than 89,000 rural Americans,
  • Held $161 billion in farm and ranch loans by years’ end, and
  • Comprised nearly half of their agricultural lending portfolio with small and mirco loans.

These figures spell good news for bankers, farmers and taxpayers alike, all of whom stand to benefit from thriving farm banks that provide increased access to capital that creates local jobs and pays taxes.

Farm Credit, however, is faced with responding to, or – more likely – covering its ears from the mounting evidence indicating that commercial banks can handle the totality of agricultural lending responsibilities in rural America.

As a government-backed entity and the nation’s largest agricultural lender, the last thing that Farm Credit wants to hear is that it has outlived its usefulness.