In the United States, a network of federally chartered financial institutions designed to provide credit-related services to the agricultural and farming sectors of the economy. In total, this government-sponsored enterprise comprises approximately 100 financial institutions that serve all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Unlike commercial banks, the banks in this system do not take deposits, nor do they usually borrow from other banks. Instead, these banks raise funds by issuing farm credit debt securities on a worldwide basis in the domestic and global capital markets. Although the debt securities are not guaranteed by the U.S. government, the FFCS possesses a farm credit insurance fund, which would supply principal and interest payments should a system bank go bankrupt. System institutions are federally chartered under the Farm Credit Act and are subject to supervision, examination and regulation by a federal agency, the Farm Credit Administration.