Arguing that the Farm Credit System should make only agriculture-related loans, several bank groups have urged a federal appeals court to reinstate their challenge to the government-sponsored enterprise.

A federal judge had dismissed the suit last November.

In a brief, the Independent Bankers Association of America and the American Bankers Association last week said officials at the Farm Credit Administration view the Farm Credit Act too broadly.

Though the purpose of the law is to improve the well-being of farmers and ranchers, it includes specific provisions that detail how the system should work, the groups wrote in response to an earlier filing by the government.

"The Farm Credit Administration's brief treats the Farm Credit Act, enacted by Congress, as if it did not exist except for the purpose clause of the statute," the bank groups wrote.

The two sides will argue the case Oct. 9 before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. A decision is expected this winter.

- Jaret Seiberg

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