FCS Diversity and Inclusion - PROPOSED RULE - MARCH 2011 Dear Mr. Van Meter,
As a small vegetable farmer in Iowa, I see the need for the Farm Credit Services to get behind those of us involved in their local food systems. It is not just about farming, or even food, but about the economic value that small farms can bring to rural communities. I believe in keeping our dollars within our community in order to generate more economic activity.
Farmers who are interested in participating in a local food system, often need resources to scale up. The question that is always out there, what a farmer can do on a 5 acre farm with his hands is not possible when scaling up to 10 or 20 acres. Small equipment is definitely needed. Knowing that 10% of FCS's capital is dedicated to helping people like me to scale up, would really give a boost that would engage and increase local economic development activity.
Also, having FCS involved in developing more folks who want to farm on a smaller scale, would provide a needed partner. Many folks talk about getting into food farming in Iowa, but often are not sure how to participate in identifying the needed capital. This is especially true of those who are not involved in agriculture now. What a wonderful thing, to actually be part of increasing the numbers of those who are farming now. Iowa has seen a steady decrease in farmers for the last 25 years, FCS could help change that fact.