Biden nominates former Iowa Governor Chet Culver to federal rural lending board


Via Flickr

Elizabeth Miglin | July 20, 2021

Former Iowa Governor Chet Culver has been nominated by President Joe Biden to the board of directors for the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, also known as Farmer Mac. 

Culver served as Governor of Iowa from 2007 to 2011. During his governorship Culver built up a large budget surplus and earned Iowa a ‘Triple A’ bond rating, which helped the renewable energy industry grow in Iowa. Culver also served as the Iowa Secretary of State from 1999 to 2007 and founded the Chet Culver group, a renewable energy consulting firm, in 2011. 

Farmer Mac is a federally chartered organization aimed at increasing access to capital in rural and agricultural communities. Created in response to the 1980’s farm crisis, the organization is now the largest secondary market investor of USDA loan guarantees in the U.S. and has provided over $63 billion in loans to rural borrowers. 

“Any rural-based business or industry can benefit from Farmer Mac. I want to make sure that continues into the future, and that’s another reason I’m privileged and honored to serve,” said Culver. 

The president is able to appoint five members to the board of fifteen as representatives for farmers, the Farm Credit System and commercial banks. If approved by Congress this will be Culver’s second term serving on Farmer Mac. 

Iowa Power Fund off to a slow start


Former Iowa governor Chet Culver tours the labs at Iowa State University. Photo courtesy of Governor Chet Culver, Flickr.

The Iowa Power Fund, a program for renewable energy research created by former governor Chet Culver, has only spent a fraction of the planned $100 million in the five years since its creation, according to a review by the Associated Press.

The program was originally intended to help Iowa “become the silicon prairie of the Midwest” by investing in ethanol and wind energy to reduce pollution, reduce the state’s need for foreign oil, and create new jobs. However only $23 million has been spent so far, and many of the fund’s projects are still facing difficulties.

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A widening scope of disaster


Add seven more names to the list of Iowa counties eligible for disaster aid. Calhoun, Clarke, Dallas, Hamilton, Ida, Keokuk and Washington counties now join 50 others on the July 29 Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance.

This mammoth list puts the extent of flooding this summer in perspective. It means that more than half of Iowa’s counties have officially brushed with disaster.

According to a press release on Gov. Chet Culver’s Website:

Public Assistance funds are available to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations…for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

while:

Individual Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Read more information from FEMA.