Farming should be at the center of the Farm Credit System. Unfortunately, a too-big-to-fail approach has allowed this $247 billion government-sponsored enterprise to overstep its purpose and crowd out private lenders. Unless we return the Farm Credit System to its original mission, taxpayers could be on the hook for a bailout in the near future and farmers’ access to credit could be reduced.

Like other small businesses, family farms depend on capital to grow and, given agriculture’s unique challenges, it’s helpful to have financial institutions that understand how farming works. In 1916, the Farm Credit System was created by Congress to help farmers and ranchers access that capital. Unfortunately, over the past few years lenders within the Farm Credit System have extended themselves beyond their original scope.

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