Biden nominates former Iowa Gov. Culver to Farmer Mac board
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Joe Biden has nominated former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver to the board of a federal organization that works to ensure rural areas have access to credit.
If confirmed by the Senate, it would be Culver’s second turn serving on the board of the Federal Agriculture Mortgage Corp., commonly referred to as Farmer Mac. President Barack Obama appointed Culver to the board in 2012 and he served until December 2019, when he was removed by President Donald Trump.
Farmer Mac is governed by a 15-member board, five of whom are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Five members are elected by stockholders representing banks and insurance companies and five are elected by stockholders representing the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of lending and service organizations focused on financing the agriculture sector.
Farmer Mac was created by Congress after the farm crisis of the 1980s.
“The bottom line is we want to make sure capital is flowing to rural America to farmers, to rural communities, to co-ops. Any rural-based business or industry can benefit from Farmer Mac,” Culver said. “I want to make sure that continues into the future and that’s another reason I’m privileged and honored to serve.”
Culver, a Democrat who served as Iowa secretary of state and a single term as governor before losing to Republican Terry Branstad in 2010, said he has known Biden and his family for decades and was an early supporter. Culver’s father, John Culver, represented Iowa in the U.S. House from 1965 to 1975 and in the U.S. Senate from 1975 to 1981, years that overlapped with a portion of Biden’s Senate service.
Culver works as a renewable energy and infrastructure consultant at the Chet Culver Group, a company he founded in 2011.
Farmer Mac presidential appointees have no time limit on their service and may remain on the board until the president replaces them.
Former Iowa Sen. Lowell Junkins of Donnellson has served on the board since 1996 and is currently vice chairman.
The Senate will likely consider Culver’s nomination by early fall.
Board members gather six times a year in Washington for three-day meetings. Board members are paid a base of $120,000 in cash and stock awards. Those who chair committees are paid an additional $6,000 to $15,000, depending on the committee they lead.