Hoeven Advancing Better Access to Capital and Financial Services for Farmers, Ranchers and Small Communities


At the Independent Community Banks of North Dakota’s annual meeting Sunday, Senator John Hoeven outlined his efforts to ensure the state’s families and businesses, including farmers and ranchers, have access to the financial services they need. To this end, the senator has been working with the administration to ensure that two pieces of legislation, which were signed into law over the past year, are implemented properly, including:

  • Hoeven’s Capital for Farmers and Ranchers Act, a version of which he secured as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Legislation providing regulatory relief to small community banks, which faced disproportionate compliance costs under Dodd-Frank, threatening the availability of financial options in rural areas.

“Financial services are essential to every household and business,” said Hoeven. “That’s why we’ve sought to preserve our small community banks and expand access to capital for agriculture producers, which will help us maintain a strong economy and high quality of life in rural areas. The farm bill and the regulatory relief bill we passed last year are still being implemented, and we’ve been working closely with a wide array of federal agencies, like the USDA, FDIC and Federal Reserve, to make sure they get it right.”

Capital for Farmers and Ranchers Act

Earlier this year, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that it had increased the limits for its ownership and operating loans and loan guarantees, consistent with Hoeven’s legislation. Specifically, the agency increased the limits for:

  • Guaranteed Operation and Ownership Loans from $1.399 million to $1.75 million.
  • Direct Operating Loans from $300,000 to $400,000.
  • Direct Ownership Loans from $300,000 to $600,000.

Hoeven said that increasing the loan limits helps agriculture producers access enough operating capital to weather difficult times, such as natural disasters, low commodity prices or trade uncertainty. Further, the senator stressed that the increased loan guarantees enable local financial institutions to better support farmers and ranchers, without exposing themselves to excessive risk.

Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act

Hoeven continues his efforts to advance regulatory relief in order to preserve smaller communities’ access to financial service options. This reflects the fact that smaller institutions do not pose significant risk to the nation’s economy. Accordingly, the senator is working to ensure that, under this law, the administration eases reporting and examination requirements for community banks and credit unions, makes it easier for these institutions to originate residential mortgages for qualified borrowers and exempts them from complex rules that restrict their investments.