FCS Diversity and Inclusion - PROPOSED RULE - MARCH 2011
Dear Mr. Van Meter,
I appreciate this chance to submit my comment on the importance of the Farm Credit Administration in helping restore/rebuild strong local food economies in our nation through better service to small and mid-sized, local and regional food producers.
-Please diversify the FCS loan portfolio and include in FCS marketing plans the requirement that each FCS institution begin by creating a baseline analysis of producers who meet the Farm Bill definition of local and regional food producers by number of borrowers, by loan volume, and other key characteristics.
-Create a plan to reach out to local and regional food producers and require that the plan be made public, along with quarterly progress reports, also publicly available.
-Have an investment goal for local and regional food producers of not less than 10% of each institution's capital within 5 years.
-Add local and regional food producers to the FCS board. Provide staff development training for FCS personnel on lending, accounting, farm transition, and business planning services to fit the needs of local and regional food producers.
-Conduct an inventory of the strengths and weaknesses of financing for local and regional food infrastructure, including aggregation, processing, distributing, and marketing.
-Develop lending and business support products with terms and benefits suitable for local and regional food producers.
The changes you make can help create needed jobs, revitalize urban and rural communities, and improve public health. Let's assist local and regional producers so they can have the infrastructure and financing necessary to provide local consumers with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, dairy, and meat products. A new generation of farmers is needed to grow food in ways that save energy, protect land and water resources, and connect people to the land and to each other, by brining back taste and restoring regional uniqueness.
Susan Lannin 7100 N GREENVIEW AVE Chicago, IL 60626