Brenda Kluesner, loan officer and crop insurance manager at Royal Bank, testified before the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee’s Commodities, Crop Insurance and Credit hearing July 25. She urged Congress to adopt a "dynamic new multi-year farm bill" upon expiration of the current bill.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to represent a cross-section of areas that are so important to me − agriculture, community banking and Southwest Wisconsin – on a national scale,” said Kluesner.

Kluesner encouraged Congress to provide adequate funding, raise loan limits, minimize origination fees and paperwork requirements and provide uniform financing requirements for USDA loans across state lines.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Wisconsin bankers to make their perspectives on agricultural policy known,” said Jeff Gruetzmacher, senior vice president at Royal Bank. “Brenda’s depth of knowledge, experience and passion for agriculture helped to shed light on this ongoing effort and to appropriately represent Royal Bank, our rural communities, and U.S. agriculture.”

She said farmers need a reliable stream of credit.

“Congress has the power to help avoid a farm credit crisis,” Kluesner said. “A strong farm safety net for commodities, and a strong crop insurance program are both vital to producers and community banks. By enhancing, streamlining and adjusting the USDA guaranteed lending programs in the next farm bill, we will ensure that they fulfill their potential to be a key component of the farm safety net and help prevent the next farm credit crisis.”

Royal bank has 17 offices in southwest Wisconsin, including Elroy, New Lisbon, Viroqua, Hillsboro and Camp Douglas.

This article was originally published in The Tomah Journal.