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Long Thompson named to lead FCA

Jill Long Thompson

Jill Long Thompson

President Barack Obama today designated Jill Long Thompson as chair and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration, the regulator of the banks and associations of the Farm Credit System.

Long Thompson, a former Democratic House member from Indiana who has been a member of the FCA board since March 2010, succeeds Leland Strom, who served as chairman and CEO since May 2008.

Strom will remain a member of the board pending future action by the president and the Senate, the FCA noted in a news release.

Kenneth Spearman, who was appointed to the board by Obama in 2009, serves as the third member. He also serves as chairman of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.

As chair of FCA, Long Thompson will be responsible for policymaking, adopting regulations, and overseeing the examination and regulation of the institutions that compose the farm credit system, including the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac).

The system has $239.7 billion in assets. As of September 2011, it held approximately 43 percent of the nation’s farm business debt.

From 1989 to 1995, Long Thompson represented northeast Indiana in the House, serving on the Agriculture Committee and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. From 1995 to 2001, she served as Agriculture Department undersecretary for rural development.

Long Thompson also ran for the Senate and for governor of Indiana, but lost those races.

Before her government service, Long Thompson taught at Indiana University, Valparaiso University and Manchester College. She is also a former fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

She holds an master of business administration degree and a doctorate in business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Valparaiso University.

Long Thompson grew up on a family farm outside of Larwill, Ind. She and her husband, Don Thompson, live on a farm near Argos, Ind.

FCA is a bipartisan, independent regulatory agency. Created by executive order of the president in 1933, the agency now derives its powers and authorities from the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended.