Secretary Vilsack concerned about loan delinquency rates

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says there are thousands of rural families on the brink of financial disaster.

Vilsack testified before the Senate Ag Appropriations Committee Tuesday and said USDA has struggling customers in many states. “24,673 farm families that are either delinquent in their loans to USDA, are bankrupt or are pending foreclosure. This is a serious issue.”

Vilsack told the subcommittee it’s important to put a spotlight on the challenges faced in rural America. “These are people who have borrowed from USDA or who have had a guaranteed loan from USDA, which means that they haven’t been able on their own to go to a commercial bank and be able to secure financing. So these are folks who need help. They need assistance.”

During his testimony, Vilsack also said USDA has seen their discretionary budget grow about half of all other departments while seeing almost double the procurement responsibilities with a workforce that’s been cut by 43%.

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