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Bipartisan Bill Supports Rural Fishing Communities

New legislation would allow businesses that directly support the fishing industry to access existing agriculture loan programs. Introduced by Representatives Chellie Pingree, a Maine Democrat, and Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican, the Fishing Industry Credit Enhancement Act would allow businesses that provide direct assistance to fishing operations, like gear producers or cold storage, to access loans from the Farm Credit System.

Pingree says, “Small businesses that directly help our iconic fishing industry should be able to depend on the Farm Credit System as countless farmers, ranchers, and loggers have for decades.” Higgins adds, “Our legislation provides greater parity for America’s seafood producers and the supporting industries.” Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose says, “Supporting rural communities is a vital piece of Farm Credit’s mission, and this bill will provide more financing options for our rural fishing communities.”

Senators Angus King, an Independent from Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

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