In the heyday of high summer, while we’re out in the field until after dark planting broccoli starts by headlamp, it’s easy to miss what’s going in the world of agricultural policy. This is a friendly reminder that, while the greens are bolting and the chickens are molting, the Farm Credit Administration is considering a new rule that could mean good things for young farmers. We, the farming/farm-appreciating public, have only until July 25th to send our comments to the Administration. For more info on how to submit a comment, see the NSAC action page.
Why does the Farm Credit Administration’s recently proposed rule matter to young farmers? The new rule would require the Farm Credit System’s lending institutions to adopt a plan to put greater emphasis on lending to diverse farmers–specifically young or beginning farmers, small farms, and minority farmers.The routing of FCS money to small, diverse farmers is an important step in building stronger local and regional food economies. Throughout much of the country, the demand for locally produced food is still much greater than the availability, creating an opportunity for trained and energetic young farmers, producers, and distributors to meet that demand. Often the biggest road block is access to financial assistance and business support. This amendment would help in that effort, allocating more farm credit for small farms and local and regional food systems.
When you come up for air after harvest, send your comment in to the FCA. Let’s see if we can push this thing forward!