ICBA Testifies on Need for Enhanced USDA Credit Programs
ICBA called on Congress to support agricultural programs that help community banks serve rural America amid a steady deterioration in farm incomes.
Steve Handke, president and CEO of the Union State Bank of Everest, Kan., testified that implementing more robust and better-financed USDA guaranteed lending programs through the 2018 farm bill will help avoid a farm credit crunch and prevent an exodus of producers from the agricultural sector.
Handke told the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit that many farmers are using up working capital and are expected to need additional loans.
To meet the growing demand for the USDA’s credit programs, Handke encouraged Congress to provide adequate funding, raise loan limits to reflect the higher cost of modern agriculture, and minimize origination fees and paperwork requirements.
“Congress has the power to help avoid a farm credit crisis,” he said.
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