FCS Diversity and Inclusion - PROPOSED RULE - MARCH 2011 Dear Mr. Van Meter,
I want to comment on how the FCA can better serve small and midsized local and regional food producers. This is highly important to all of us who benefit from their special role in our daily lives and in producing our daily food.
I strongly urge that you include the following in your loan portfolio. First, there should be an FCA plan on how best to use FCS local and regional food producer financing to leverage other public and private capital necessary to help overcome the weaknesses in the rest of the local and regional food supply change.
Other important planning by FCA should include the following:
A plan for developing lending and business support products with terms and benefits appropriate for local/regional food producers.
A plan for conducting outreach to local/regional food producers.
An investment goal for regional food producers of at least 10% of each institution's capital within five years.
Also a requirement should be included that each FCS institution create 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 points. Another requirement that should be included is that each outreach plan and periodic progress reports be made public.
Certainly, local and regional food producers must be added to the FCS board.
Sincerely, M. Buckner
Marian Buckner 104 WILDFLOWER LN Shepherdstown, WV 25443