In a comment letter to the Farm Credit Administration today, the American Bankers Association called on the agency to make changes to how it reports data on young, beginning ad small farmers. The association raised concerns that the agency’s current reporting practices lead to loans being double or triple-counted, in turn overstating the number of young, beginning and small farm customers the system actually serves.
ABA pointed out that despite its statutory mandate to serve these customers, lending to YBS farmers fell by 10% in each category in 2017. ABA recommended that an individual YBS loan be counted in one of seven mutually exclusive categories to more accurately reflect the Farm Credit System’s ability to provide credit to these individuals. ABA also called for maintaining existing definitions for young, beginning and small farmers so that the FCS can best serve these uniquely vulnerable populations.