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One set of programs that are the responsibility of the new (Consolidated) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is the farmer loan programs of the former Farmers Home Administration (FmHA). As FSA attempts to integrate and coordinate the former FmHA, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) and Federal Crop Insurance programs, the farm credit programs will pose some particular challenges. The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the issues relative to the farm credit programs that may be important in understanding and dealing with these challenges. Topics covered include the rationale for government lending to farmers, a historical perspective on farm credit programs, a short review of our experience with the important farm loan programs, a discussion of some of the problems associated with providing federal farm credit and some thoughts about current and potential relationships with other lenders


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