skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Report calls for changes in Farm Credit System to address fairness, sustainability

play audio
Play

Thursday, December 7, 2023   

A new report is calling for greater accountability in the system providing funding to farmers in underserved communities.

The research takes a dive into the Farm Credit System, examining the risks and suggesting improvements to make the system more fair and sustainable.

Joshua Humphreys, president and senior fellow of Croatan Institute, a farmer and lead author of the report, said despite the Farm Credit System making around 45% of all agricultural loans, there is no transparency in how much of the funding goes to small, midsized or socially disadvantaged farmers.

"Minority homebuyers were deeply underserved," Humphreys pointed out. "Yet no data demographically related to race, ethnicity or gender along the lines of other equal lending opportunity sectors are provided."

According to the report, most Farm Credit System loans go to very large operations, and fewer than 20% to small or beginning farmers. Humphreys argued the findings can be an opportunity for the system to address the disparities.

The report also pointed to the system's lack of climate-related reporting, and suggests ways to make sustainability a bigger priority in lending. For the last several decades, farmers have dealt with increased risks, from rising temperatures and more frequent severe storms to wildfires.

David Beck, director of policy at Self-Help Credit Union and a contributor to the report, said as agriculture's government-sponsored enterprise, more can be done to help farmers to transition to more eco-friendly practices.

"For instance, helping small farmers or even larger farmers switch to more regenerative ag practices that can require a lot of upfront cost," Beck suggested. "Maybe helping subsidize that switch to more sustainable ag systems."

The research touched on some governance issues as well, such as board members serving expired terms. Humphreys stressed the challenges must be addressed, as taxpayers ultimately would bail the system out in the event of a crisis.

"Agriculture is not immune from a wide array of environmental, social and governance risks and opportunities," Humphreys emphasized. "I think that's the key takeaway, is that we really want to encourage the Farm Credit System to end its laggard position among government-sponsored enterprises."

The report recommended conducting more climate research, implementing Green and Impact Bonds, and establishing a grant set-aside program through a congressional mandate.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Marine research on a recent expedition off of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California mapped the habitat of red gorgonian coral, sea stars and sheepshead fish. (Danny Ocampo/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

Marine researchers just wrapped up the first of three ocean expeditions off the coast of Southern California to map the biodiversity and support effor…


Social Issues

play sound

Michigan's population has hovered around the 10 million mark for the past 20+ years, but the state's latest report outlines projections of a …

Health and Wellness

play sound

More skin cancers are diagnosed than all other cancers combined and one in five Americans will have some type of skin cancer by age 70. Nebraska is …


The current lack of cohesive planning has made building new transmission lines difficult, prompting FERC's new rule. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new step from the federal government takes a step toward modernizing the process for building energy transmission lines - while also protecting wild…

Social Issues

play sound

Americans got a bit of a reprieve last month, as food and auto prices dipped for the first time in 90 days. As Texas households continue to deal …

Black women are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke during pregnancy, which TaShenma Mack found out firsthand before the birth of her daughter. (Photo courtesy of TaShenma Mack)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina's maternal death rate is higher than the national average and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among new moms in th…

play sound

The effect of technical glitches in overhauling the student financial-aid form known as FAFSA is still being felt. Issues stemming from a redesign …

Social Issues

play sound

A newly passed Connecticut bill will modernize the teacher certification process. House Bill 5436 is expected to make it easier for educators to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021