WASHINGTON (September 2, 2016) – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced today additional funding to assist more than 1,900 approved applicants awaiting FSA direct operating loans. In response to the announcement, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson released the following statement:
“Farmers and ranchers continue to grapple with the effects of a declining farm economy. Access to low-interest operating credit is necessary to keep struggling producers in the business of feeding Americans. Today’s announcement that Congress and USDA have worked together to reprogram up to $185 million in additional direct operating loan funds is greatly appreciated; however, this additional funding will only alleviate approximately 30 percent of FSA’s projected shortfall of funds before the next fiscal year.
“NFU has been in constant contact with Members of Congress and the USDA over the need for additional credit. We are thankful they heard our message and acted swiftly to aid producers. We are also confident that they understand that additional steps are needed for those who have been approved for FSA loans but are part of the backlog. Although many will be left waiting for funding, it is important for farmers and ranchers who are in need to continue to apply for the loan programs for when the loan funds are replenished in fiscal year 2017.
“NFU remains committed to working with Congress and USDA to identify solutions that provide meaningful relief to producers in need. NFU members will be in Washington during the September session urging members of Congress to use the month to address the additional credit needs of struggling producers.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.