CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF FARM CREDIT; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 94
(House of Representatives - June 14, 2016)

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         CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF FARM CREDIT

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Knight). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 6, 2015, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Austin 
Scott) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority 
leader.


                             General Leave

  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent 
that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and 
extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the subject of 
this Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Georgia?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize 
Farm Credit's 100th anniversary of supporting our rural communities and 
providing reliable credit to those in the agricultural industry 
throughout our country.
  Throughout this Congress, as the chairman of the House Agriculture 
Committee's Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit, I 
have worked with Farm Credit extensively. These interactions have 
reaffirmed what I already knew: the Farm Credit system is made up of 
dedicated Americans who understand the needs and champion the values of 
rural America.
  I am honored to represent Georgia's Eighth Congressional District, 
most of which is farmland. A good portion of my constituents are 
farmers themselves or have family and friends who farm. Georgia's 
Eighth District is home to roughly 15 percent of Farm Credit borrowers 
in the State of Georgia. I myself come from an agricultural background, 
as both sets of my grandparents were farmers.
  Farm Credit has met the credit needs of many of my constituents and 
maintains an active presence in south and middle Georgia, where we are 
leaders in Georgia's agricultural production. For a century, Farm 
Credit has been providing our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities 
with the capital they need to build and grow successfully.
  The centennial anniversary coincides with a time when our 
agricultural industry is facing significant economic challenges. In the 
past few years, our farmers and rural communities have been faced with 
lower commodity prices, increased input costs, and unstable and 
inconsistent international markets, all of which are placing strains on 
our food producers and those who provide essential services to our 
agricultural industry. This not only affects the producers and 
manufacturers, but it also has a tremendous effect on the communities 
in which they live and work.
  A strong agricultural economy is essential to the health and vitality 
of the communities I represent in 24 counties across south and middle 
Georgia. During times like this, farmers in rural communities depend on 
Farm Credit, whose mission is focused on helping rural communities and 
agriculture grow and thrive.
  For example, in my home State of Georgia, young, beginning, and small 
farmers make up 72 percent of AgFirst Farm Credit's customers. While 
these customers represent the future of the agricultural industry, they 
have entered into the industry at a difficult economic time.
  Our Nation's farmers, young and old, embody the American ideals of 
hard work and dedication, and their commitment to providing the food 
and fiber for a growing nation and needy world remain steadfast. 
Alongside them, Farm Credit's commitment to our agricultural future 
remains just as important as it was 100 years ago.
  Farm Credit is a critical provider of credit, not only to producers 
but also to the communities they live in. They are dedicated to 
supporting rural communities' critical infrastructure needs such as 
access to clean water, efficient energy, sufficient healthcare 
facilities, and modern telecommunication services. Access to these 
essential services is critical to a thriving rural America. The future 
of our rural communities and the agricultural industry depends on a 
modern infrastructure, which requires access to affordable and reliable 
financing.
  Additionally, I want to thank my colleagues who are here today to 
offer a few words and to celebrate Farm Credit's centennial. Rural 
communities in Georgia's Eighth Congressional District as well as the 
districts across this country are stronger when their infrastructure 
needs are efficiently and effectively met, and Farm Credit is providing 
the capital with which this can be achieved.
  I want to say a special thank-you to my cohost for tonight's Special 
Order, the ranking member of the Commodity Exchange, Energy, and Credit 
Subcommittee, my friend from Georgia (Mr. David Scott).
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
David Scott).

                              {time}  1830

  Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Scott, whom I 
affectionately refer to as my cousin from Georgia, and my good, dear 
friend in addition to that.
  This is a remarkable 100-year observance of a truly remarkable 
organization that provided a great need at a great time. Imagine where 
we were 100 years ago. In 1916, the world teetering on World War I, 
boll weevil, a lot of things happening. Just a matter of, perhaps, 50 
years, the South recovering from the Civil War. Great devastation.
  Enter into this picture of great need comes Farm Credit. When we 
celebrate this 100-year anniversary, we have to celebrate it right. We 
have to let people know the importance, and why this organization came 
into existence. And I say, Mr. Speaker, that particularly in the South, 
we might not have really made it as quickly in terms of our recovery as 
we did if it were not for Farm Credit. On this 100th anniversary, we 
have so much to celebrate, so many fine people. Those who started it 
are gone, but they built it on a solid foundation that had lasted.
  Agriculture is the single most important industry in the world. It is 
the food we eat, it is the water we drink, it is the clothes we wear, 
and it is the financial system that we have created. The very 
commitment that Chairman Austin Scott and I share was birthed out of 
that--the Commodities Exchange. The South didn't have everything it 
needed, but it had the land and it had the crops. It had commodities. 
Farm Credit provided the liquidity that our farmers needed. So there is 
so much to cherish in this time that we are celebrating.
  There is something else, too, Mr. Speaker, as we look at this. As 
Chairman Scott said, 72 percent of their

[[Page H3811]]

loans are going to beginning, new farmers.
  Now, why do I say that is so important?
  Because the number one issue that we are faced with today is the age 
of the average farmer. To me, and to many of us in agriculture, this is 
not only a farming issue, it is a national issue, that the average age 
of a farmer today is 60 years of age.
  What other industry has that? What other sector has that?
  That is why we have to move aggressively. That is why I appreciate 
Farm Credit so much--because they jumped out front. Seventy-two percent 
of their lending capacity goes to getting young, beginning farmers in.
  The other thing is they are partnering with our committee and going a 
step further. There is so much we can do. But, Mr. Speaker, it was the 
land grant colleges in the South that was the pivot. The 1860s and the 
1890s is what pulled this country and pulled the South together. Every 
5 years, we put a farm bill together. In that farm bill, we allocate 
badly needed dollars to these 1890 land grant institutions as well as 
to the 1860s.
  I mention that because we have to get young, beginning farmers--
African Americans, White, all of America's people. So what we are doing 
is to open up a new spending category in the farm bill for these 1890s 
that we will be able to give loan forgiveness and scholarships to young 
people who will go into farming. That is how we solve this problem. And 
Farm Credit has to template. They are there with that other arm.
  Mr. Speaker, it costs $8,000 just for one acre of land. You can 
hardly get a tractor for less than $50,000. It is needed--when these 
young people graduate and they have that loan forgiveness there, they 
have that debt in school--in order for them to go and become farmers. 
They have to pay $8,000 to start with just an acre, and $50,000. But if 
we would be able to help them and say: We will help your loan 
forgiveness.
  I mention that because the people at Farm Credit said: Let me reach 
out a hand. Let me help Fort Valley State in Georgia to partner with 
the University of Georgia. Let me help Florida A&M University Land 
Grant to work with the University of Florida, a land grant. Let me help 
Alabama A&M University and Tuskegee Institute work with the University 
of Alabama.
  That is how we solve this problem. That is why it is important for us 
to understand the foundation. Farm Credit was developed out of a crisis 
need, and here they are moving to help with another crisis need to get 
more young people involved in farming.
  I say a national crisis because, Mr. Speaker, if we allow this to 
continue without addressing this highly escalating age of our farmers, 
we will be in serious trouble. For if we do not continue to be the 
leading agriculture producer in the world and have to depend on other 
nations to feed us, that is a national crisis.
  So on this 100th anniversary, isn't it something that we celebrate 
Farm Credit when they ushered in and came and helped to restore and 
invigorate America at a great time, and they are still doing the same 
thing today?
  With a century of experience and a focus on the future, I want to say 
to Farm Credit: God bless Farm Credit. God bless those 100 years. We 
look forward to many hundred more years. And God bless the United 
States of America.
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank my 
colleague, Mr. Scott, for being here. It has been a wonderful 
partnership to work with him on our subcommittee.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Abraham).
  Mr. ABRAHAM. Mr. Speaker, I first want to thank our chairman, Mr. 
Austin Scott, and ranking member, Mr. David Scott, for their leadership 
in bringing this vital topic to the floor.
  Farm Credit System is not only part of our economic security of this 
great Nation, but I would argue it is also part of our national 
security with what they provide. We are here just to commend the 
cooperative owners, the employees of the Farm Credit System, as they 
celebrate this 100th anniversary.
  The Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 was passed by Congress and 
President Wilson in 1916. It was a permanent means to support the well-
being and prosperity of the Nation's rural communities and agricultural 
producers of all types and sizes, a mission it has been accomplishing 
every day for a century.
  It plays a vital role, as you have heard my colleague say, in the 
success of United States agriculture and our rural communities. It has 
provided more than $237 billion in loans to more than 500,000 
customers. I am one of those customers, Mr. Speaker. In fact, I am 
still paying on one of their loans.
  The Farm Credit System helped me get started in farming back when I 
was 25 years old. It helped me buy the land I needed. I still farm that 
land today. It has helped my family buy land that it has needed to 
farm.
  We are just a small part of a community of 1,349 borrower-customers 
from the Fifth District of Louisiana. We customers account for $354 
million in credit and investments in rural Louisiana.
  In my State, Farm Credit serves more than 3,600 Louisianans, with a 
total loan volume of $645 million.
  What I and other farmers like about Farm Credit System is that they 
just seem to get it. In an age where we are losing this person-to-
person contact and we are losing the sincerity, I think, sometimes of 
the people we come in contact with, Farm Credit System 
remains homegrown people who give out hometown loans.

  We know these people. We go to church with them. We eat supper with 
them in the South. They are the DNA of our rural communities. That is 
why we trust them. We trust them to give honest and forthright advice. 
They are going to do the right thing every time for you as a borrower, 
as a cooperative owner, and just as a friend.
  As you have heard from Mr. Austin Scott and Mr. David Scott, they are 
supporting the next generation of farmers by annually providing 
billions of dollars of loans to young and beginning farmers, again, the 
future of this country--just like me once upon a time--through 
organizations like 4-H and the Future Farmers of America.
  It helps communities moving forward by financing vital infrastructure 
to bring clean water, reliable energy, and high-speed Internet to 
places that normally would not have this available.
  I am proud to cosponsor House Resolution 591 that commends the 
cooperative owners and employees of Farm Credit System for their 100 
years of service to our rural communities.
  I thank Chairman Mike Conaway, Ranking Member Collin Peterson, 
Representative Austin Scott, and Representative David Scott for 
introducing this resolution.
  Congratulations to the Farm Service Agency on its 100 years of 
service. May it continue to help farmers and rural America for another 
100 years.
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman 
from Florida (Ms. Graham).
  Ms. GRAHAM. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Scott for arranging this 
Special Order tonight.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Farm Credit on their 100th 
anniversary. That is a significant anniversary.
  Earlier this year, when I visited all 14 counties in Florida's Second 
Congressional District on the first-ever North Florida Farm Tour, I saw 
just how important Farm Credit System is to each and every one of our 
rural communities.
  In the Second Congressional District alone, Farm Credit of Northwest 
Florida serves 439 borrower-customers, providing more than $120 million 
in loans. That has helped small businesses like Southern Craft 
Creamery, where I performed a workday in a hair net making north 
Florida ice cream. It was very good. I recommend it to everyone. 
Remember Southern Craft Creamery.
  These small businesses and small farms aren't just growing food; they 
are growing our economy and creating jobs. Mr. Speaker, Farm Credit is 
working to make sure the next generation of Americans are interested in 
farming and growing food for our growing country.
  I am proud to have worked with them on workshops for new and veteran 
farmers like Bob Jackson, who Farm Credit has helped start a honey and 
bee business.
  Mr. Speaker, again, I congratulate Farm Credit on their 100th 
anniversary, and I look forward to continue working with them to 
support Florida farmers.

[[Page H3812]]

  


                              {time}  1845

  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. I thank Ms. Graham.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. 
Rouzer).
  Mr. ROUZER. I thank my friend, the gentleman from Georgia.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the Farm Credit System for 
supporting agriculture and the rural communities in my home State of 
North Carolina for the past 100 years.
  Established in 1916, Farm Credit provides farm families across 
America with consistent and reliable credit to help finance our 
Nation's food production needs. Without Farm Credit Services of 
America, our farmers would not have the resources they need to grow 
their crops and their livestock--putting food on the tables of every 
American family. Let me underscore that--putting food on the tables of 
every American family. Farm Credit organizations provide more than a 
third of the credit that is needed by United States agriculture, 
accounting for more than $217 billion in loans, leases, and related 
services.
  In my home district, our local farm lender is Cape Fear Farm Credit, 
which operates in a 12-county territory and issues loans to more than 
2,500 farmers and rural North Carolinians. I applaud them for 
supporting farm families in my district with real estate and farm 
improvement loans, equipment loans, operating loans, country home 
loans, life insurance plans, and appraisal services. Cape Fear Farm 
Credit also helps young, beginning, small, and minority farmers become 
successful by offering courses that provide not only them but their 
families with a unique set of tools to increase the quality and sizes 
of their operations.
  Without a doubt, Cape Fear Farm Credit is an incredibly valuable 
resource for our farm families and our rural communities in North 
Carolina's Seventh Congressional District. Our friends at Farm Credit 
should be proud of their great work. They have successfully delivered 
on their mission for the past 100 years, and I know they will continue 
to have great success. They are great and fine people who understand 
the unique needs of agriculture production, our farm families, and our 
rural communities. I am proud to stand with them.
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. I thank Mr. Rouzer.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Moolenaar).
  Mr. MOOLENAAR. I thank the gentleman.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the two gentlemen from Georgia for hosting this 
hour to celebrate 100 years of Farm Credit and the important role it 
has played in our country.
  For the past 100 years, Farm Credit has made vital contributions to 
the success of Michigan's Fourth Congressional District in our 
agricultural community, which includes over 10,000 farms and 15,000 
farm operators. Farm Credit has allowed farmers and growers to invest 
in their operations with new equipment and buildings in good times, 
and, in tough times, it has provided crop insurance and helped family 
farmers keep their lands. Farm Credit has helped Michigan farmers put 
healthy, delicious food on the tables of millions of people. In my 
district specifically, it has contributed to a districtwide output of 
$1.7 billion in products sold across the country and around the world. 
These profits come back to our rural communities and help to keep them 
strong.
  Mr. Speaker, Farm Credit has made America a more prosperous Nation, 
and I hope it will enjoy another 100 years of continued success.
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. I thank Mr. Moolenaar.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. LaMalfa).
  Mr. LaMALFA. I thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Austin Scott) 
for holding this Special Order hour tonight so we may have the 
opportunity to recognize our friends at the Farm Credit System. I am 
glad to join my colleagues in doing so as the Farm Credit System has 
been a great service to agriculture and rural communities for these 100 
years.
  Originally enacted by Congress and signed into law by President 
Wilson 100 years ago, the Farm Credit System has played a very valuable 
and vital role in sustaining agriculture in our Nation. While many 
things have changed in the last 100 years, one thing has not: the need 
to feed and clothe our Nation. The Farm Credit System exists to help 
farmers and ranchers meet this challenge while it also adapts to meet 
the ever-changing agricultural needs.
  For example, right now, the median age for farmers, as was mentioned 
by Mr. David Scott of Georgia, is around 60 years old, with farmers who 
are 75 years old and up outnumbering those who are in their twenties 
and thirties. We have to do more to give those young people hope and 
the opportunity to be viable and have stability in the occupations they 
would choose.
  With the population expected to increase by over 2 billion by 2050 
and as prices for farmland and equipment significantly increase, the 
concerns of having enough farmers to feed the world are very real. Farm 
Credit initiatives have helped younger farmers not only access the 
financial tools that are necessary to get started, but also the 
education and advice they need to grow their business for years to 
come.
  More generally, Farm Credit is vital to managing the everyday risks 
and the uncontrollable variables farmers face, such as the weather, 
natural disasters, or market distortions. Just this spring, in my part 
of California, high winds and heavy rains--even hail--have helped to 
shrink California's prune crop to half or less of its normal size, with 
some growers losing their entire crops for the year and with some not 
being able to even recover their costs for harvesting--therefore, not 
harvesting at all. This is on top of devastating profit losses and 
cutbacks that are due to the ongoing drought in the State of 
California.
  While insurance, certainly, comes nowhere close to making up for 
these losses or even breaking even, it helps farmers survive another 
year--to get by--so they can continue growing the food, hopefully, in 
that good following year as they faithfully go out to their fields, to 
their orchards, to their vineyards to produce what Americans want and 
need. This helps keep our communities and local economies strong.

  I am proud to stand with my colleagues and join in recognizing the 
critical role the Farm Credit System has played for over 100 years and 
to support our farmers and ranchers throughout rural communities across 
the country. Let's do everything we can to hold onto this vital piece 
of rural America, and let's keep food on the tables for all Americans 
and for those around the world who depend on it as well.
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. I thank Mr. LaMalfa.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Conaway), the 
chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
  Mr. CONAWAY. I thank my fellow colleague on the Agriculture Committee 
for hosting tonight's Special Order hour and for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to commend the Farm Credit System for 100 years 
of service to rural America and the agriculture industry.
  The importance of the Farm Credit System is largely unknown to those 
who are outside of agriculture, often leaving it prone to political 
attacks. However, its importance to those it serves has never been 
greater as declining commodity prices have led to a sharp downturn in 
the farm economy. Thankfully, the Farm Credit System and its members 
have been there to help lessen that burden.
  To understand the Farm Credit System, it is important to look back at 
its roots. In the early 1900s, credit was largely unavailable or 
unaffordable in many parts of rural America, and lenders avoided 
agriculture loans due to their associated risks. In 1908, President 
Theodore Roosevelt appointed a commission to explore the problem and, 
ultimately, found a need to develop more cooperatives and a cooperative 
credit system for farmers. From that idea, Congress passed the Federal 
Farm Loan Act of 1916, which eventually resulted in the establishment 
of the Farm Credit System, a system created to provide a permanent, 
reliable source of credit to American agriculture.
  The Farm Credit System's mission has evolved over time. For example, 
in 1980, Congress empowered the Farm Credit System to provide valuable 
capital for infrastructure that is necessary for communities to thrive.

[[Page H3813]]

  Since its inception, the Farm Credit System has never wavered in its 
mission of providing lines of credit to rural communities in good times 
and in bad. During the late 1980s, our farmers and ranchers faced 
particularly difficult times. Fortunately, the agriculture industry and 
the Farm Credit System were able to weather the storm together, and 
they emerged even more prepared for the years to come. Today, I believe 
that the Farm Credit System is fundamentally safe and sound and in a 
position to endure the challenges that it will inevitably face.
  To acknowledge and celebrate a century of dedicated service to rural 
America, I was proud to sponsor H. Res. 591, which commemorates Farm 
Credit's 100th anniversary. Providing more than $237 billion in loans 
to more than 500,000 customers, the Farm Credit System has worked 
tirelessly in all 50 States to ensure a vibrant rural economy, and I am 
proud to congratulate it on its 100 years of good work and the system 
we have in place today.
  Mr. AUSTIN SCOTT of Georgia. I thank Mr. Conaway.
  Mr. Speaker, again, I thank all of my colleagues for taking the time 
to come down here and recognize all of the great things that Farm 
Credit has done in the past 100 years. I thank all of the people who 
have been a part of the Farm Credit System over the past 100 years. I 
thank the men and women who are out there, working every day on the 
farm, to make sure that Americans have the food and fiber that they 
need. May God continue to bless them.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PETERSON. Mr. Speaker, one hundred years ago, Congress recognized 
the need for a permanent means to support our nation's rural 
communities and agricultural producers and established the Farm Credit 
System.
  Cooperatively owned and operated, the Farm Credit System was designed 
to be responsive to the needs of its borrowers while being able to 
adapt to changes in rural communities and agriculture.
  Today, credit in rural America remains an important issue. The Farm 
Credit System maintains a vital presence in all 50 states as well as 
Puerto Rico. In my home state of Minnesota, Farm Credit serves more 
than 24,000 borrower-customers by making available $6.9 billion in 
loans.
  Credit is one of the most important tools available for farmers and 
ranchers. It is a vital piece of the farm safety net during times of 
low commodity prices and an important resource to the next generation 
of farmers and ranchers looking to get started.
  Farm credit also supports rural economic development, helping to fund 
important infrastructure improvements, provide reliable energy to rural 
communities, and connect rural Americans through modern 
telecommunications.
  The impact of the Farm Credit System is felt across the country, and 
I congratulate them on this milestone.
  Mr. HUIZENGA of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 
Farm Credit System's one-hundred years of serving rural communities in 
Michigan and across the country.
  Michigan's Second Congressional District is among the most 
agriculturally diverse in the nation. West Michigan farmers grow 
countless specialty crops such as asparagus, apples, cherries, 
blueberries, carrots, and onions. They also lead the state in 
livestock, poultry, eggs, nursery, greenhouse, and floriculture 
production. For the last one-hundred years, the Farm Credit System has 
been there to provide agriculture producers with reliable, consistent 
credit and sound financial advice.
  In Michigan, GreenStone Farm Credit Services has provided the support 
needed to keep agriculture running. Whether it is helping young, 
beginning, and small farmers get their start or transitioning family 
farms to the next generation, GreenStone has been committed to 
supporting rural communities.
  GreenStone's mission is to provide reliable credit and financial 
services for rural communities and agriculture. It is a mission they 
have fulfilled for the last century, and this centennial milestone is 
an important achievement. As many producers face uncertain economic 
times, it is imperative that they have a partner who understands their 
business and the challenges they face. GreenStone has demonstrated 
their commitment to farmers.
  I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring GreenStone and the entire 
Farm Credit System for their efforts to ensure a prosperous, productive 
agricultural sector for our nation.
  Mr. DENHAM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the centennial of 
the Farm Credit System and its unwavering dedication to our nation's 
agricultural sector. As an almond farmer, House Ag Committee member and 
Representative of California's abundant Central Valley, I understand 
that our nation's farmers and ranchers are continuously faced with 
unique credit and finance needs.
  Since its inception 100 years ago, the Farm Credit System has worked 
to serve our nation's farmers and rural communities. Roughly $240 
billion in loans have been made to 500,000 borrowers nationwide. These 
funds have built viable farming operations, improved expanded existing 
ones, improved trade opportunities, and enhanced vital infrastructure 
needs. Farm Credit was integral in helping the ag sector to navigate 
the Great Depression, World War II, the Farm Crisis of the 1980s, and 
the Great Recession.
  What may be more important than Farm Credit's impact on a national 
scale is its presence at the local level. Our local branch and 
representatives work hard to establish relationships and craft finance 
options that work for their clients, whether they are small farmers new 
to the business or the next generation of an established family 
operation. Over the years, this institution has also committed hundreds 
of thousands of dollars to support our district's student ag programs, 
scholarships, and community events.
  I'm proud to cosponsor H. Res. 591, an overwhelmingly bipartisan 
commendation of the Farm Credit System and the service its cooperatives 
provide. California's Central Valley is the most productive ag region 
in the world, and I remain committed to ensuring our farmers and their 
communities have access to the financial support that the Farm Credit 
System and others provide.
  Mr. WALZ. Mr. Speaker, the availability of credit is of paramount 
importance to the success of farm country, and we learned this lesson 
the hard way. Over a century ago, our farm forbearers faced a credit 
crunch that threatened the viability of the industry. As a result, 
farmers, creditors, rural stakeholders and policymakers worked together 
to create the Farm Credit System (FCS). This system has been improved 
upon throughout the years as events require and has provided more than 
$210,000,000,000 in loans to more than 500,000 customers.
  Today, the availability of farm credit is as vital an issue for rural 
America as ever. Without credit, a beginning farmer or rancher will 
find it nearly impossible to purchase land, equipment and inputs to 
start a farming operation, and a long-time farmer will find it equally 
difficult to continue and pass on their legacy to the next generation.
  To be clear, the importance of the FCS is not limited to the private 
land between the fence posts. Instead, the entirety of the rural 
economy benefits from services provided by the FCS whether those 
services include funding for housing, markets, or infrastructural 
upgrades.
  Finally, the success of the FCS is equal to the sum of its parts. The 
system works because it is composed of individuals who care about what 
they do, who believe 100 percent in the mission of their enterprise to 
bring results and prosperity to a rural community where, without them, 
there might be none. These individuals are neighbors, friends and 
family members who take the time to get to know their customers so that 
they can best serve the needs of the community.
  On this 100th anniversary, I am both proud to celebrate the successes 
of FCS and supportive of its future role in the fabric of our rural 
economy.
  Ms. FUDGE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the cooperative 
owners and the employees of the Farm Credit System for 100 years of 
service in meeting the financial needs of our nation's agricultural 
producers.
  The Farm Credit System was established by Congress through the 
Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 and signed into law on July 17, 1916 by 
President Woodrow Wilson. This year marks the centennial anniversary of 
the founding of the cooperatively owned and operated Farm Credit 
System.
  Congress designed the Farm Credit System as a permanent means to 
support the well-being and prosperity of our Nation's agricultural 
sector. Today, the Farm Credit System plays a vital role in the success 
of United States agriculture and the economic vibrancy of communities 
throughout all 50 States and Puerto Rico. The Farm Credit System 
provides more than $237 billion in loans to more than 500,000 
customers.
  The Farm Credit System has served my home district, Ohio's 11th 
Congressional District particularly well. In 2012, three Farm Credit 
System organizations; AgriBank, CoBank and Farm Credit Services Mid-
America joined to provide $135,000 in financial support for Cleveland's 
Gardening for Greenbacks program.
  The Gardening for Greenbacks program provides grants to local 
entrepreneurs for the development of for-profit urban food gardens. 
This program encourages economic development, improves access to fresh, 
healthy and affordable food, and has helped to establish the City of 
Cleveland as a model for local food system development.

[[Page H3814]]

  I am proud to honor the Farm Credit System on its centennial. Happy 
100th Anniversary to the Farm Credit System.
  Mr. CUELLAR. Mr. Speaker, this July marks the 100-year anniversary of 
the Farm Credit System, and I rise today to commend the cooperative 
owners and employees for their continuing service and support in 
meeting the financial needs of rural communities and agricultural 
producers in the 28th District of Texas and across the country.
  I was pleased to cosponsor House Resolution 591, introduced by House 
Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and Ranking Member Collin 
Peterson as well as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee 
for Commodity Exchanges, Energy & Credit, Chairman Austin Scott and 
Ranking Member David Scott, and join my colleagues in celebrating the 
Farm Credit System for its 100 years of service.
  Congress established the Farm Credit System through the Federal Farm 
Loan Act of 1916, which was signed into law on July 17, 1916 by 
President Woodrow Wilson. The Farm Credit System is comprised of 
independently owned cooperatives that are controlled by their 
borrowers. Each cooperative is therefore responsive to its borrowers' 
individual credit requirements and can continually adapt to the 
changing needs of our rural communities and agricultural producers.
  Today, the Farm Credit System plays a vital role in the success of 
our country's agricultural sector, and the vibrancy of rural 
communities throughout the country. The Farm Credit System provides 
more than $237 billion in loans to more than 500,000 customers 
nationwide. In the state of Texas specifically, Farm Credit has issued 
over 47,000 loans, providing $9.5 billion in credit to farmers and 
other agricultural borrowers. 1,443 of those loans were made to people 
in the 28th District of Texas, totaling over $593 million in loans. In 
2013, Farm Credit returned nearly $258 million to its borrowers in the 
state of Texas alone.
  Farm Credit actively supports the next generation of agricultural 
producers by providing billions of dollars of funding to emerging 
farmers and producers, and providing financial support for 
organizations like 4-11 and Future Farmers of America. Additionally, 
Farm Credit finances reliable energy sources for farms and rural towns, 
clean water systems, and modern telecommunications systems that connect 
rural America with the rest of the world. By financing these vital 
infrastructure projects, Farm Credit supports the agricultural and 
rural communities in my congressional district and across the country.
  Mr. Speaker, I am honored to recognize the Farm Credit System on the 
occasion of its centennial and extend my appreciation to the 
cooperative owners and employees for their commitment to providing 
innovative financial services to the people of the 28th District of 
Texas and to the nation as a whole.

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