As Congress moves closer to deliberations on a new Farm Bill, Farm Credit East urges members of the Northeast Congressional delegation to continue strong support for USDA loan guarantees, as noted in a recent letter the financial cooperative sent to Congress.
“Loan guarantee programs provided by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) offer an important tool for farmers to work with lenders,” said Bill Lipinski, CEO of Farm Credit East. “As dairy farmers go through difficult financial challenges, FSA loan guarantees are vital to provide time for necessary adjustments to be made on the farm.”
Over the years, the FSA loan guarantee program has helped family farms obtain financing for both seasonal operating needs and farm ownership. Net dairy farm income has declined dramatically since 2014, resulting in financial losses on many Northeast dairy farms. While these farms continue to be very resilient, it often takes time to make adjustments to the business to return it to profitability.
With both the House and Senate Agriculture committees poised to begin work on the Farm Bill, and funding for USDA and all government programs expiring on March 23, Farm Credit East wanted to underscore the importance of FSA loan guarantees given the difficult conditions in many agricultural sectors.