ICBA white paper outlines farm policy recommendations
Washington, D.C — With Congress planning to write a new farm bill in the coming months, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) recently released a white paper with its principles for a new multi-year farm bill. ICBA’s white paper details its community banker-inspired farm policy reforms as lawmakers work to replace the current bill expiring Sept. 30.
“ICBA believes a new farm bill is vitally important to our nation’s farmers and ranchers and the community bankers who work so closely with them,” ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said. “A new farm bill provides a multi-year framework for farmers and their community bank lenders to engage in longer-term business planning, and it offers an essential safety net of risk-management tools.”
ICBA’s “Focus on Farm Policy” white paper outlines key agricultural focus areas:
• Adequately Fund Commodity Programs and Crop Insurance, which are key risk-management tools that enable producers to obtain farm loans.
• Enhance the USDA’s Farm Loan Programs—which provided more than $7.7 billion in loans for producers in 2017 and supported 42,000 farmers and ranchers—by increasing loan limits, providing greater flexibility for loan approvals, and eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens.
• Sustain USDA Rural Development Programs by maintaining the USDA’s focus on guaranteed loan programs and preserving funding for programs such as the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program for small businesses.
• Reform the Farm Credit System, which has experienced dramatic growth while sharply reducing service to family farmers, to ensure this government-sponsored enterprise remains focused on serving farmers and does not venture into broad non-farm lending activities.
• ICBA’s Five Key Farm Bill Principles, which include ample funding, regulatory relief, fair treatment of all stakeholders, and more.