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Rounds-FSA Loan Funding

Rounds-FSA Loan Funding
Rounds, colleagues request FSA loan funding
News Staff - May 10, 2017

UNDATED - A group of 28 U.S. Senators, including South Dakota's Mike Rounds and John Thune, are asking members of the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee to support the Farm Service Agency's various loan programs. In a letter drafted by Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, the lawmakers asked the panel to continue funding FSA loans--especially direct and guaranteed farm operating and farm ownership loans.

"We urge you to provide funding sufficient to fully meet loan demand from beginning, small and other underserved farms that rely on FSA loans," the memo stated. "In light of the President's FY18 Budget request, which would reduce USDA funding by 21-percent and could endanger critical programs like FSA loans, we ask that you provide appropriations at or above FY17 levels and carefully consider the importance of these farm loan programs."

The senators claim that any cut in FSA loan funding would cause great hardship for the nation's farmers; many of which are facing depressed commodity prices.

"FSA loans aim to help small farms that cannot otherwise obtain favorable credit, including beginning farmers, women and minorities, and other disadvantaged borrowers," they said. "FSA's loan programs include operating loans, which fund expenses such as livestock, equipment and seed, and ownership loans that help farmers develop land."

Last summer, hundreds of farmers whose loans had already been approved could not receive the funds due to a shortfall in funding for FSA operating loans. As a result, Congress was forced to pass an emergency appropriation last fall December to address the shortfall.

The group said funding levels below past totals or in line with the president's budget would 'undoubtedly' and 'irreversibly' harm our nation's agricultural industry.



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