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Farm Credit Set to Meet with Congress

The Farm Credit System has a three-point plan to improve service for the rural U.S.

On Tuesday, representatives from the Farm Credit System will present Congress with a plan for improving service to rural America.

Farm Credit System will call on Congress to improve access to capital for U.S. farmers, ranchers and rural families.

"Today's farmers, ranchers and rural entrepreneurs are on the leading edge of a global agricultural economy," says Bruce Nelson, Chairman of the Farm Credit Council Board of Directors. "Yesterday's ways of doing business simply will not work to ensure the continued success of agriculture and America's rural communities."

The group's three-point plan for Congress addresses law that the group says limits its ability to help agriculture and rural America to keep up with changes in the global economy and technology.

Those three points include:

Providing more financing options for farm business, primarily those businesses directly dealing with producers' needs (such as local farm equipment or feed and seed dealers, grain elevators, etc.).

Making competitive home mortgage loans available to more rural families. Farm Credit can only provide home mortgage loans to residents of towns of 2,500 or fewer, but Congress has updated the definition of "rural" for many USDA programs to include areas up to 50,000 population. Farm Credit proposes to expand its service to single-family, owner-occupied homes consistent with the USDA definition.

Modernizing Farm Credit's Ability to Set Cooperative Stock Requirements. Farm Credit proposes that local association directors be given the flexibility to set the minimum stock-purchase requirement.

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