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Welcome To America's Farm Credit Archive

This site is dedicated to the history of the Farm Credit System, and it is the largest online collection of primary-source material relating to rural credits. Documents in our archive have been collected from the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, university libraries, private collections, and the presidential libraries. All of this material is available online, digitally reproduced, for the use of interested researchers and history buffs.

Created by Congress through the 1916 Federal Farm Loan Act, the Farm Credit System was the nation's first Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), and it laid a framework for rural people to access farm loans during periods of otherwise constricted private credit. The System has expanded over the years, to include programs for funding rural development, forestry, fisheries, and farmer cooperatives, as well as agriculture. The System repaid the last of its federal funds in 2006, and today it is wholly farmer-owned, by more than half a million borrowers.

This site includes material from across the nation, and throughout the history of the Farm Credit System. Accessible are a range of documents,fully digitized, including government reports, newspaper and magazine articles, political cartoons, photographs, speeches, press releases, internal memoranda and correspondence, letters, briefing reports, and audio and video recordings.

This project is sponsored by the Farm Credit Council and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, and has been funded through the generosity of the Farm Credit Council Board of Directors.

America's Famr Credit Archive
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FCA Borrower Paul Erickson, November 1940

Paul Erickson, owner of forty acres of land in Yuba County, California. He is working on his tractor. He has diversified fruit farm with a federal land bank loan and production credit loan.

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"The Right Lender Can Help You Avoid Sour Grapes"

In 1990 the Farm Credit System launched a new ad campaign for markets not traditionally within the System’s fold: pitches to nurserymen, lumbermen, vineyardists, cattlemen, and other rural producers.

"By Way of Replacement"

This political cartoon invokes the power of the new Farm Credit Administration to prop up "The Nation's Agricultural Credit Structure," promising great things for the future of rural finance.

"The Last Dollar"

The Presidents of the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Columbia and the Columbia Banks for Cooperatives proudly hold the checks paying off federal funds "to the last dollar" in 1968.

"Credit association, Clarksdale, Mississippi Delta, Mississippi," 1939

Photograph by Farm Security Administration photographer Marion Post Wolcott of the storefront of the Clarksdale, Mississippi Production Credit Association, advertising the availability of crop loans for local farmers.

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President Wilson signing Federal Farm Loan Act

In this July 17, 1916 photograph, President Woodrow Wilson signed the first rural credits legislation.

Senator Hollis, supporting creation of a National Union of Farm Loan Associations, 1920

New Hampshire Senator Henry F. Hollis (D) wrote the National Board of Farm Organizations on August 5, 1920 expressing his support for their work in organizing a National Union of Farm Loan Associations. The movement was a response both to threats to eliminate Farm Loan Association and to gain a voice to speak to Congress.

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Land Banks and Joint Stock Land Banks, the "campaign" to manufacture discord between them

Secretary of the Federal Land Bank of Baltimore, C. R. Titlow, wrote the Farm Loan Board on March 18, 1920 in regards to an enclosed letter from the President of the American Association of Joint Stock Land Banks, Guy Huston. Huston was concerned about what he called a "campaign" against Joint Stock Land Banks, being run by those opposed to the Farm Loan System as a whole.

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