August 9, 2022
Fargo, US 73 F

Accessing credit as beginning farmer big topic of discussion at House Ag Subcommittee hearing

The difficulty that beginning farmers face when trying to access new credit was a big topic of discussion during a House Ag Subcommittee hearing on credit programs for the next farm bill.

Justin Doerr, a beginning farmer, Plainview, Nebraska, told lawmakers how he got his start in the business after serving in the military during the war in Iraq.

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Doerr told lawmakers he went through the application process with the Farm Service Agency for a loan to cover operation expenses – but he ran into outside factors that made an FSA loan unfeasible.

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Testifying on behalf of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Jeff Gerhart, Chairman of the Bank of Newman Grove, Nebraska, told the panel that Doerr’s story isn’t uncommon.

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Matthew Williams, Chairman and President of Gothenburg State Bank in Gothenburg, Nebraska, says the situation highlights the need to perhaps revisit term limits on beginning loans.

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 Witnesses offered several recommendations – like expanding the eligibility for guaranteed real estate loans – removing limits on the number of years producers can obtain guaranteed loans – and significantly increasing the loan limit size.

 

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