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Legislation seeks to reduce burdens, costs on farm credit institutions in the U.S.

Rebecca Barnabi
free range chickens in open meadow
(© Jacqueline Anders – stock.adobe.com)

The Farm Credit Adjustment Act would reduce unnecessary burdens and costs for farm credit institutions, which provide loans to farms, rural businesses and rural utilities.

The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) must conduct full safety audits and soundness examinations of farm credit institutions at least once every 18 months. Low-risk farm credit institutions are negatively impacted by extra staff preparation, regulatory burdens and costs associated with audits to provide timely service. Audits also often fall at the end of the calendar year when farmers and producers rely on their local farm credit institutions to provide funds to support spring planting operations.

U.S. Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Doug LaMalfa of California introduced bipartisan legislation today to cut red tape for America’s farm credit institutions.

“As the only Virginian on the House Agriculture Committee, I know the importance of our farm credit institutions to the long-term economic success of Virginia’s farms, small businesses, and rural communities. By cutting unnecessary red tape for these critical organizations, our bipartisan bill would prevent interruptions and delays in their services,” Spanberger said. “I want to thank my colleague Congressman LaMalfa for his partnership on this legislation, and I look forward to moving our bill forward to provide relief to the organizations that are laying the financial foundation for rural America’s growth and development.”

The bipartisan Farm Credit Adjustment Act would help address this issue by allowing the FCA to conduct audits of low-risk farm credit institutions every 24 months, rather than every 18 months. This straightforward, six-month extension would reduce regulatory burdens and costs for farm credit institutions and make sure they have more bandwidth to serve the needs of their customers — including thousands of farmers, agribusinesses, rural utilities, and agricultural cooperatives.

The Farm Credit Adjustment Act is supported by Farm Credit of the Virginias and Colonial Farm Credit.

“Redundant, bureaucratic paperwork wastes staff and constituent time, increases costs and makes helping people take longer,” LaMalfa said. “This bill will help low risk farm credit branches in rural America focus their limited time on helping our farmers, co-ops, and rural utilities. I’m happy to work on this bipartisan legislation with Rep. Spanberger to ensure we keep our rural economy producing.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.