In his remarks delivered at Colorado State University on March 23, Chairman and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), Glen R. Smith, pledges to work in collaboration with the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) to address issues surrounding access to capital for Native American farmers and ranchers. This collaborative effort recognizes the need for a Native financial institution within the Farm Credit System focused on agricultural lending and loan servicing.
NAAF met with Chairman Smith at the Farm Credit Administration to discuss lending opportunities for Native farmers and ranchers. This new collaboration is the beginning of revitalizing access to capital for Native agricultural communities and is the next step following NAAF’s previous announcement with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to establish two separate Other Financing Institutions within the Farm Credit System to expand opportunities for lending to underserved farmers and ranchers.
“The Farm Credit System was instituted to meet the credit needs of farmers and ranchers. Our goal in working with the Farm Credit Administration is for Native producers to go into any of the more than 60 associations across the United States and be able to speak with someone who knows Native agriculture, is confident in working with our producers, and understands the legal complexities sometimes associated with agriculture on tribal land,” says Toni Stanger-McLaughlin, CEO of NAAF.
The new Other Financing Institution supported by NAAF will serve as a new entity within the Farm Credit System to allow access to more favorable terms, such as lower interest rates. This will help expand the work of Community Development Financial Institutions and provide a broader network of financing for Native producers.