FCS Diversity and Inclusion - PROPOSED RULE - MARCH 2011
Dear Mr. Van Meter,
Please support the proposed rule that, if adopted, would direct Farm Credit System 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.
For the past 4 years in northeast Iowa we have been collecting sales data from local food producers in the region. Sixteen producers or producer groups reported sales for the year totaling over $1.55 million. Reported sales ranged from less than $500 to over $800 K. (This number has more than doubled each year we've collected data. We're currently collecting data for this year's sales and already our numbers are over $2.2 million.
We've also had 22 local institutions that reported purchases of local food totaling $832,227 in the past year. Purchases ranged from less than $500 to over $350 K.
We see a growing demand for local food and more producers interested in growing local food to meet this demand. Having more credit available to farmers to start-up or expand their food and fiber operations is very much needed.
Thank you for your consideration.
Brenda Ranum Northeast Iowa Food and Farm Coalition