The Farm Credit Council wants the next Farm Bill to invest in the future of rural communities. Skylar Sowder, Farm Credit Council Vice President, Government Affairs, says its all about essential community facilities.
Sowder; “To attract a vibrant workforce and make rural America a great place to live, we have to have these essential community facilities. So, one thing we’d like to see in the Farm Bill is a codification of our ability to invest in important rural community facilities like rural hospitals, critical care clinics, even things that are really important like daycares or fire stations.”
Farm Credit organized the Rebuild Rural Coalition of more than 250 farm and rural groups to advocate for the unique infrastructure needs of rural communities and agriculture.
Sowder says; “This is really a cool program because it brings together Farm Credit local leaders, other community banks and credit unions, and there’s also a piece for the federal government to play as well through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. So, it really is bringing everybody together to further these initiatives in rural America.”
For example, one such partnership can be found in North Dakota. Sowder; “There’s a facility in Jamestown, North Dakota, and it brought together two form credit institutions, three community banks, a credit union, as well as there was a direct loan from USDA. And things that we hear from local hospital CEOs or whatever, is that really helps to recruit the physicians needed in those facilities, making sure that our facility in rural Wisconsin or anywhere else is just as a state of the art and up to date and a place for those physicians want to practice.”
Story provided by NAFB News Service and Brian Winnekins, WRDN, Durand, Wisconsin