NACS recently concluded our 2017 Zone meetings. A very big THANK YOU to the Zone Representatives and the members of the hosting states that planned and carried out the work necessary to make these meetings a success!!! We also appreciate the effort put forth by the National Office and NFAOC staffs. Considerable time and effort was given so that NACS members would be informed and have the chance to meet with management both in the group setting and individually.
I was told that the best part of being NACS President is attending each of the Zone meetings and meet new members. I found this to be very true. The Zone Reps are preparing a newsletter for each of their Zones to summarize the meeting, so I will not do that here. I will say that while each State or region may have some unique challenges, many of the issues important to our membership remain consistent across the country. I will attempt to touch on some of these.
FUNDING: NACS worked with our partner organizations to ensure some legislative relief for our immediate funding concerns. We believe the Department has the ability to secure additional funding prior to the next continuing resolution and we believe that will happen very soon.
BUDGET CONCERNS: Although the President's proposal was not what we hoped to hear, we have a long way to go until decisions are final. We must keep in mind that FLP continues to have strong support among the House and Senate agriculture committees and with appropriators. No drop in FLP funding levels have been proposed. USDA must retain adequate staff to provide record loan making levels and to service our existing $24 billion portfolio. NACS will continue to tell our story to the Administration and to Congress. We will not be alone; our private sector industry partners understand the need for the programs and service we provide and they continue to assist in this effort.
DAFLP Jim Radintz stressed during our recent meetings that we should" keep calm and carry on". Similar words of encouragement were expressed by Acting Administrator Chris Beyerhelm. Very good advice; we keep doing what we do serving our customers and creating economic development in the rural communities where we live and work. NACS will not relent on advocating on your behalf.
Your NACS Board is preparing for our Spring Board meeting next week. Please contact any or all of us with your questions and concerns.
Don't forget to check the NACS web site for details on the upcoming convention scheduled for June 25th - 29th. Congratulations to the Ohio Association for signing 8 new members this past week!!! Please continue to share your success stories with us.
John W. Gehrke
LeAnn is a Farm Loan Chief from New Mexico. She was elected NACS President at the June 2019 Convention.