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Farm Credit’s commitment to young, beginning and small farmers grew in 2020

WASHINGTON — Farm Credit institutions increased their support of young, beginning and small (YBS) farmers and ranchers across the country in 2020, according to a Farm Credit Administration report delivered on Aug. 12, 2021.

“In the midst of a pandemic, Farm Credit leaned into its mission and strengthened its support for young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers. The commitment Farm Credit lenders make to YBS farmers and ranchers does not waver, in good years or bad. It’s a critical part of our mission, and we’re dedicated to fulfilling it regardless of a pandemic, low commodity prices, challenging trade environments or anything else,” said Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose. “Across all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Farm Credit lenders work alongside YBS farmers, think through individual business plans and develop the appropriate financing for each operation.”

“The substantial increase in loans made to young, beginning and small producers was clearly boosted by Farm Credit’s extraordinary efforts to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans to customers. Farm Credit institutions across the country provided thousands of customers with these vital — forgivable — loans to help them offset the impact of the pandemic,” Van Hoose added.



A comparison of FCA data released across the past three years demonstrates Farm Credit’s growing commitment to young, beginning and small producers:

YOUNG PRODUCERS



In 2020, Farm Credit made 65,807 loans to producers whose age was less than 36 years, compared to 49,104 in 2019 and 46,680 in 2018.

Similarly, the dollar amount of loans outstanding to young farmers grew to $33.6 billion at year-end 2020 compared to $31 billion at year-end 2019 and $30.9 billion at year-end 2018.

Over the past three years, Farm Credit made more than 160,000 loans to young agricultural producers for $33.7 billion.

BEGINNING PRODUCERS

Over the past three years, Farm Credit made nearly a quarter of a million (223,740) loans to ag producers with 10 years or less of experience to help them get started in production agriculture.

In 2020, the number of new loans made by Farm Credit institutions to beginning producers jumped to 94,329 as compared to 67,088 in 2019 and 62,323 in 2018.

Loan volume outstanding at year-end to these producers grew as well to $54.8 billion in 2020, compared to $48.6 billion in 2019 and $47.1 billion in 2018.

SMALL PRODUCERS

At the end of 2020, nearly half (49.8%) of all loans outstanding in the Farm Credit System were to ag producers with less than $250,000 in farm sales.

New loans made by Farm Credit to these producers in 2020 grew dramatically to 166,282 from 123,494 in 2019 and 114,817 in 2018.

From 2018-2020, Farm Credit made in total some $50 billion in new loans to small ag producers.

At year-end 2020, Farm Credit had $160 billion in loans outstanding to small producers.

In 2020 alone, according to the FCA’s data, new loans made by Farm Credit to young farmers increased by 37%, to beginning farmers by 57% and to small farmers by 63%.

As FCA indicated at its board meeting, these strong increases were driven by a favorable interest rate environment for new loans and refinancing loans, Farm Credit serving its customers through the Paycheck Protection Program and strong demand for real estate and equipment purchases.

The FCA is an independent federal regulatory agency charged with oversight of the Farm Credit System. It annually reviews Farm Credit’s performance on meeting the needs of YBS farmers and ranchers and reports its findings to Congress.


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