DEFINITION of 'Farm Credit System - FCS'

The Farm Credit System is a nationwide network of cooperative banks and associations that provide credit to farmers, agricultural concerns and related businesses. It was created by Congress in 1916 and was originally funded by the federal government to ensure American agriculture had a dependable source of credit. It is now self-funding and owned by its member-borrowers.

BREAKING DOWN 'Farm Credit System - FCS'

The FCS makes loans for a variety of purposes, including agricultural processing and marketing activities, rural housing initiatives, farm-related businesses, rural utilities and foreign and domestic companies involved in agricultural trade.

The FCS provides access to critically needed credit in rural areas where national and regional banks typically do not have a presence.

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