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ABA Testifies on Agricultural Credit Issues in Rural America


The American Bankers Association testified today before the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee’s Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Subcommittee, offering the banking industry’s perspective on agricultural credit issues in rural America. The hearing was conducted by Chairman David Scott (D-Ga.) and Ranking Member Austin Scott (R-Ga.).

Shan Hanes, president and CEO of Heartland Tri-State Bank in Elkhart, Kan. testified on behalf of ABA. Heartland Tri-State Bank is a family-owned and locally-controlled community bank with $125 million in assets and $51 million in agricultural lending. The bank has 28 employees and 4 locations serving Kansas.

In his testimony, Hanes acknowledged the current challenges facing the agricultural economy and encouraged members to support the
Enhancing Credit Opportunities in Rural America Act, also known as ECORA, introduced by Rep. Steve Watkins (R-Kan.) in March.

“The most important fact about this bill is that it will directly and almost immediately help all ag borrowers,” said Hanes. “It would allow banks to lower interest rates on ag real estate loans to borrowers and help ease cashflow needs, while still maintaining an acceptable profit margin and return as monitored by regulators and shareholders.”

Hanes also thanked the committee for its work on the 2018 Farm Bill and discussed the bill’s successes including increasing borrower limits on USDA Farm Service Agency guaranteed loans, the continued support of crop insurance programs, and changes to the ARC and PLC program.

“With the 2018 Farm Bill in place, farmers, ranchers, and their bankers achieved a level of certainty from Washington about future agricultural policy,” said Hanes. “The repeal of borrower limits on USDA’s Farm Service Agency guaranteed loans has allowed farmers to continue to access credit from banks like mine as they grow, ensuring credit access for farmers across the country.”

Additionally, Hanes emphasized the critical role of the country’s 1,772 farm banks as the primary source of credit to farmers and ranchers in the United States.

“Banks like mine are proud of the work we do to support our nation’s farmers and ranchers. The agricultural community is a critical part of our economy and America’s banks remain committed to serve it through good times and bad.”

Click here for a copy of Hanes’ full testimony.


About the American Bankers Association

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $22.8 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard nearly $19 trillion in deposits and extend $11 trillion in loans.

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