WASHINGTON -- A proposal to expand the Farm Credit System's lending authority is drawing fire from agricultural bankers who fear the changes will undercut them in one of their traditional markets.

The Rural Credit and Development Act of 1994 would broaden the definition of the word "rural." Currently, the Farm Credit System can lend only in communities with populations of 2,500 or less. The legislation expands the agency's lending authority to communities with populations of up to 20,000 people.

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