Press Releases

House Agriculture Committee reviews the Farm Credit System

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Washington, December 2, 2015 | comments
Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a public hearing to highlight the Farm Credit System (FCS) and its century-long mission of providing credit to agriculture and rural America, as well as the role of the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) in ensuring the soundness of the FCS and its lending practices. The committee heard from representatives of FCA on how they are working to ensure that the system banks are staying within bounds of their statutory mandate.

Congress established the FCS in the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 at a time when credit was largely unavailable or unaffordable in rural areas, and lenders avoided agriculture loans due to their associated risks. The FCS was created to provide a permanent, reliable source of credit to American agriculture.

“Providing credit to America’s farmers and ranchers is essential, especially at a time when net farm income is decreasing and farmers are facing lower commodity prices and farmland values. In times like these, our farmers and ranchers need access to reliable sources of credit at competitive rates. Together, the Farm Credit System, the network of commercial and community banks, and USDA loan programs all play an important role in providing farmers with that access. I appreciate the witnesses today for highlighting the challenges and successes of the FCS and look forward to finding ways to ensure its solvency during the good times and the bad,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Chairman Conaway's opening statement, and the archived webcast.

Witness List:

Panel I
Mr. Kenneth Spearman, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA

Accompanied by:
Mr. S. Robert Coleman, Director of the Office of Examination, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA

Mr. Charles R. Rawls, General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA
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