Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

FCS Report Sees Expanding Rural Opportunities

Magazine article Rural Cooperatives

FCS Report Sees Expanding Rural Opportunities

Article excerpt

While the number of farmers and communities that rely on agriculture for their economic well-being have declined, the future of U.S. agriculture remains bright. Future possibilities are expanding, not contracting, according to Farm Credit HORIZONS, a comprehensive, nationwide-research study released by the Farm Credit System, the nation's producer-owned farm lending network. Facing a rapidly changing global marketplace and structural change, American farmers, ranchers and rural entrepreneurs need reliable access to a broad range of financial services and expertise in order to capitalize on emerging growth opportunities, the report finds.

"Today's rural entrepreneurs, including farmers and ranchers, are on the leading edge of a global agricultural economy," says Wayne Lambertson, a Maryland farmer who serves as chairman of the Farm Credit Council board of directors. "As this research makes clear, rapid change requires greater flexibility on the part of the institutions that U.S. agriculture and rural America rely on. Yesterday's ways of doing business simply will not work to ensure the continued success of agriculture and America's rural communities."

The report describes the need for policy solutions that will help farmers, rural businesses and rural communities succeed in the emerging marketplace. The HORIZONS project has helped identify how incremental changes to the Farm Credit System can provide agriculture and rural America greater access to additional capital that can be used to expand agriculture's contribution to rural prosperity. …

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