FCS Diversity and Inclusion - PROPOSED RULE - MARCH 2011 Dear Mr. Van Meter,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on how the Farm Credit System (FCS) can better serve small local and regional food producers.
I support your efforts to diversify the FCS loan portfolio by directing FCS lending associations to be more responsive to the credit needs of small (and mid-sized) farmers and ranchers producing for local and regional food markets. I humbly request that you include the following items and requirements to the FCS marketing plans:
-A new investment goal for local and regional food producers of no less than 10% of each FCS institution’s capital within 5 years.
- An outreach strategy to inform local and regional food producers of the FCS's new investment goal.
- A staff training and resource development plan that will prepare FCS employees to serve local and regional food producers with lending and business support services.
-A pledge to add local and regional food producers to the FCS board.
-An inventory of strengths and weaknesses of financing for local and regional food infrastructure (aggregation, processing, distributing, etc.) and an FCA plan for how to use FCS local and regional food producer financing to leverage other public and private capital necessary to address the larger weaknesses in the rest of the local and regional food supply chain.
Thanks again for providing me with the opportunity to comment on how the Farm Credit System (FCS) can better serve the needs of small local and regional food producers. Best of luck as you move this process forward.
Brian Emerson 1968 Bryan Ave Salt Lake City, UT 84108