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News ReleaseFarm Credit Administration
1501 Farm Credit Drive
McLean, Virginia 22102-5090


For Immediate Release
NR-06-04 (04-06-06)
Contact: Martha Schober or Christine Quinn, 703-883-4056
E-mail: info-line@fca.gov
Web site: www.fca.gov

FCA Board Hears Report on Economic Issues Affecting Agriculture
McLEAN, Va., April 6, 2006 — The Farm Credit Administration (FCA or Agency) Board today heard a report by the Agency’s Office of Regulatory Policy on economic and banking issues that affect the Farm Credit System (FCS or System), agriculture, and rural America. The report reviewed U.S. economic indicators including the gross domestic product (GDP), interest rates, agricultural trade, and farm policy issues.

The report also highlighted current trends in agricultural lending, commodity prices, farm size, farmland real estate prices, and small farmers’ increasing reliance on off-farm income. Specifically, small farms derive over 90 percent of their total income from off-farm sources. In response to the report, FCA Chairman Nancy Pellett noted, “Young, beginning, and small farmers are important to keeping agriculture vibrant. Accordingly, our policies should not overly restrict the ability of the Farm Credit System to provide credit and related services necessary to ensure the future of this important group.”

Since the March 9 Board meeting, the following notational vote has occurred. Notational votes are actions taken by the FCA Board between Board meetings. The Board authorized AgStar Financial Services, ACA to make a mission-related investment designed to help meet the financing needs of new and existing agricultural and rural businesses in the Mankato, Minnesota region.
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The Farm Credit Administration is the safety and soundness regulator of the cooperative Farm Credit System. FCA charters, regulates, and examines the 109 banks, associations, and service corporations of the System. System institutions make loans to agricultural producers and their cooperatives nationwide. Members of the FCA Board are Nancy C. Pellett, Chairman and CEO, Douglas L. “Doug” Flory, and Dallas P. Tonsager.

Note: FCA news releases are available on the Internet. Access the FCA Home Page at www.fca.gov.