One of the serious issues for beginning, small, or underserved farmers is the lack of access to credit.  And ask anyone who’s farmed for a while, without credit, it's almost impossible for any farmer to make it.


“This is what I feel like I was brought to the agency for is to help improve access to credit especially to those underserved populations.”


FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux recently told the Senate Ag Committee that the law when it comes to USDA farm loans, as most people read it, is that USDA is the lender of “last resort”.  Meaning the Department cannot issue a loan if credit is available commercially to a farmer.  But Ducheneaux said he'd like to see that credit test changed.


“We should look to be that lender first opportunity as opposed to that lender of last resort and I think that can start with a with a better reading of our authorizing statute credit sufficient to meet the actual needs of the borrower at reasonable rates and terms.”


Ducheneaux said he'd be happy to work with lawmakers on this issue as they craft the 2023 Farm Bill.


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