CRAIGforCONGRESS

Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives

  
 

 

 

Congressional Issues 2010
MISSOURI FARM BUREAU
Agricultural Credit



Missouri Farm Bureau

Kevin Craig - "Liberty Under God"

  Agricultural credit is a band-aid used to stop economic bleeding. The first question to ask is What caused the injury? What impeded the accumulation of capital?

One of the most important aspects of credit in our day is the debasement of the currency that occurs through the government banking system. Kevin Craig does not disagree with tinkering with the Farm Credit System, but the larger monetary issues of government manipulation of currency and credit cannot be long ignored.  

The tax burden on rural families can never be overcome (and indeed is caused by) government bailouts of credit organizations.

Agricultural Liens  
We favor the current Missouri law which gives lending institutions the option of releasing a portion of their security interest and giving priority to credit issued by farm suppliers.  
Farm Credit System  
Preservation of the Farm Credit System is in the long-term best interest of U.S. agriculture. We favor decentralization to the maximum extent feasible. We support promotion of "Farmer Mac." The recent problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac suggest questioning support of Farmer Mac.
The Farm Credit System has an important and constructive role to play in making financing available for rural housing, agri-businesses and rural infrastructure development. next: Agricultural Extension
We oppose any restructuring of the Farm Credit System which replaces farmer-elected members of System boards with commercial bankers or expands commercial bank access to FCS funding.  
We believe it is in the best interest of Missouri agricultural producers for the Farm Credit System to remain intact. We support legislation to remove the statutory exit provision from the Farm Credit Act.  
Farm Foreclosures  
Efforts to protect all farmers with moratorium legislation would make it more difficult and more costly for farmers to receive credit in the future. We believe farm loan decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis.  
Lenders should be encouraged to sell a homestead separate from other farm properties when doing so is consistent with sound business principles.  
Farm Service Agency (FSA)  
We favor allowing the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to dispose of property at fair market value acquired through foreclosures to recover costs on borrowers who have not and cannot pay the interest and principal on their loans.  
We favor moving FSA loans away from direct government loans to guaranteed loans (where private lenders make the loans backed by a government guarantee). We encourage commercial bankers and FSA to work together to ensure paperwork and reporting requirements for FSA guaranteed loans do not impede participation.  
We favor subsidizing FSA interest rates by the federal government for disaster loans.  
We support repeal of the program which allows certain inventoried FSA land to be sold subject to conservation easements. If these easements are allowed, we favor government agencies (e.g. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) be required to make payments in lieu of taxes on easement acreages.  
We oppose the transfer of inventoried property to federal or state natural resource agencies without it first being offered for sale to the public.  
We believe the FSA beginning farmer program should give priority to younger farmers and should use a debt to equity factor for determining eligibility rather than the current requirement that applicants can own no more than 25% of the average size farm in their county.  
We favor FSA disaster or guaranteed loans being made available to incorporated levee districts.  
We believe that eligibility for FSA loan guarantee, interest assistance and direct loan programs should not be limited to an arbitrary number of years.  
We support amending Section 310B(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to allow for business and industry guaranteed loans to be made for farmer-owned projects that add value to or process agricultural products regardless of the physical location of the plant.  
We feel that farmers and landowners should be able to continue receiving their farm payments by check and should not be forced to take payments as a credit to their checking accounts electronically.  
FSA must constantly review the formula used to set Posted County Prices (PCPs) to ensure that it accurately reflects market conditions at the county level and that the differential between the cash price and PCP does not unfairly penalize producers or county elevators.  
"Land Link"  
We support the concept of establishing a service to help match beginning farmers with retiring farmers who do not have heirs to continue the family farm business.  
Loan Guarantee Program  
We support a program to provide loan guarantees for loans to value-added processing facilities through the sale of taxable bonds. The main source of revenues to repay or guarantee these bonds should come from general revenue appropriations.  
State-Sponsored Loans  
We favor the continuation of the Missouri Linked Deposit Program, which reduces interest rates to farmers and small businesses through local banks and Farm Credit System banks. We support the State Treasurerís program to set aside a portion of the stateís investment portfolio to be used to create capital for value-added and other agricultural enterprises through the Missouri Linked Deposit Program.  

In addition, we believe eligibility for the Missouri Linked Deposit Program should be maintained for 2-3 years even though a borrower's debt to asset ratio may improve after they initially qualify for the program.

 
We favor requiring the same criteria for small business as currently exist for the agricultural loan program.  

We support Missouri Linked Deposit Program funds being made available for on-farm grain storage, drying, handling systems and structures.

 

We oppose the state going beyond the Missouri Linked Deposit Program to create a state agricultural bank and to issue voter-approved bonds to provide additional low interest loan money for farmers.

 
We support the State Treasurer's efforts to invest more state funds with Missouri financial institutions rather than out-of-state.  
Young Farmer Funding  
We favor legislation which would better assist lending institutions in making loans to young farmers through improved flexibility of loans, such as longer terms, lower down payments, lower interest rates and redefining the definition of a young farmer.  

next: Agricultural Extension

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