Editor:I am writing in reference to an April 12 column written by Alan Guebert, “Deja vu all over again with the FCS.”
Contrary to the column’s description of the Farm Credit Administration’s proposal to lift territorial restrictions on Farm Credit System lending, the proposal is not designed to allow system lenders to expand out of agriculture, abandon lending to small and beginning farmers and target “huge hog confinement operations who have multi-state investments.” In fact, those large operations have numerous lending sources today, including national and international banks.
Rather, the proposal will give small and traditional farmers and other agricultural producers a choice of Farm Credit lenders. The current geographic limitation on Farm Credit lenders means that, in most cases, producers have one Farm Credit option for financing. This proposal gives farmers more financial choices thus increasing competition among all farm lenders (including those in the Farm Credit System) and ultimately helping keep agriculture’s interest rates at competitive levels.
The Farm Credit System is, and will continue to be, a system of cooperative lending institutions owned and controlled by American agricultural producers. The idea behind the proposal is to ensure that all farmers benefit from competition for their loans and financial services, regardless of size or location.
Donnie W. Winters
(Mr. Winters is president and chief executive officer for Farm Credit Services of Mid-America.)