FCS Diversity and Inclusion - PROPOSED RULE - MARCH 2011
Dear Mr. Van Meter,
Thank you for this opportunity to provide comment on ways the FCS can better serve small and midsized, local and regional food producers.
We support your efforts to diversify the FCS loan portfolio and would ask that in defining what needs to be included in FCS marketing plans that you first include a requirement 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 characteristics.
Additionally, an investment goal for local and regional food producers of not less than 10% of each institution’s capital within 5 years would help to make our food system more sustainable in the long term and support the farmers who need it most.
A plan for conducting outreach to local and regional food producers and a requirement that such an outreach plan and periodic progress reports be made public is also crucial to the success of the small-scale farmers.
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 would be a huge asset.
Thank you again for your consideration.
Lisa Turansky Sustainable Agriculture Program Director Coastal Conservation League 328 East Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401 office: 843.725.2059 cell: 202.236.1645 email: email@example.com www.coastalconservationleague.org
Lisa Turansky 328 EAst Bay Street Charleston, SC 29402