At its recent meeting, the Farm Credit Administration Board received FCA's 2010 Annual Report on the Farm Credit System's Young, Beginning, and Small Farmer Mission Performance.

According to the report, loans made by the Farm Credit System (System) in calendar year 2010 (including new loans and renewals) to young, beginning, and small (YBS) farmers rose in both number and dollar volume over YBS lending activity in 2009. The volume of loans made was up by 10.3 percent to young farmers, 10.0 percent to small farmers, and 8.6 percent to beginning farmers.

In 2009, new lending activity to YBS farmers was down, as was lending activity in general. When the economy began to recover in 2010, both overall System lending and the System's YBS lending began to grow again.

Although the number of loans made to each YBS category in relation to the number of loans made by the System overall was down slightly in 2010, loan dollar volume to each YBS category in relation to the System's overall dollar volume was more stable.

System associations are required to develop programs to provide sound and constructive credit and related services to YBS farmers and ranchers. The associations use surveys to obtain demographic data for their lending territories and analyze these data to help develop programs appropriate for their territories.

Through these programs, many System associations offer lower interest rates and less stringent underwriting standards, such as high loan-to-value ratios or lower debt coverage requirements, to make it easier for potential YBS borrowers to qualify for loans.