Thursday, November 11, 2010

Conference with Charles Rawls, FCA General Counsel

On Wednesday, November 10, we were delighted to have the opportunity to do a live video conference with the Farm Credit Administration's General Counsel, Charles Rawls. This conference was the highlight of our study of the Farm Credit System, the unique nationwide network of cooperative lending institutions and related organizations. Farm Credit System lenders provide more than $160 billion in loans, leases, and related services to the agricultural community. The Farm Credit Administration is the independent federal agency that regulates the system. Having the opportunity to talk directly with FCA's general counsel was a tremendous opportunity for our LL.M. class.

Mr. Rawls has had an unparalleled career of leadership in agricultural law and policy. Before joining the FCA in March 2003, he was General Counsel and Vice-President for legal, tax, and accounting at the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. During the consideration of the 2002 farm bill, he served as the General Counsel of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. He served as General Counsel for the USDA from 1998 to 2001, and before that served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. He also served as Counsel to the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Forests, Family Farms, and Energy; Associate General Counsel of the House Committee on Agriculture; and, Legislative Director and Administrative Assistant to Congressman Martin Lancaster.

Mr. Rawls delivered an excellent presentation that included comments regarding the financial crisis, our overall economic environment and the agricultural economy.  He then presented specific information about the role of the Farm Credit System in serving the agricultural community and took a questions from the audience.  His presentation was well-received and informative.  We appreciate Mr. Rawls' willingness to video conference with us, and we hope that it will be the first of a number of connections with the Program.

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