Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

ABA Marks Fifth Anniversary of Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

ABA Marks Fifth Anniversary of Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking

Article excerpt

Five years ago, ABA created the Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking to help bankers better serve their customers. Today, the Center's importance as a resource to bankers and farmers continues to grow as the agricultural industry evolves.

Non-corporate farms were relatively strong Last year, as more farmers supplemented their incomes with earnings from non-farm activities, according to the USDA's "Agricultural Income and Finance Outlook." These secondary incomes illustrate a change as farmers Look not only for additional income, but also health and retirement benefits. Farmers are increasingly working part-time off the farm or dividing the chores--with more women taking care of the farm and men working full-time. Additional changes in the traditional farm include the decrease in beginning and young farmers taking over the family farm.

"The increased challenges among farmers have made the center a valuable resource in tying bankers and agriculture," says center director John Blanchfield. "The center brings together banking and rural industries to keep America's backbone strong by developing programs and working with the government and private sector to help bankers better serve their customers."

ABA has been working to help rural banks and rural Americans for more than 100 years. In 1913, ABA established the Commission on Agriculture, a permanent commission of the association, and began publishing "The Banker-Farmer," which was ABA's official newsletter on agricultural and "country life" issues. Just a year Later, the Commission testified, for the first time, in support of the Smith-Lever Act, which created the U. …

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