Farmer Mac was established under the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 which added a new Title VIII to the Farm Credit Act of 1971. Farmer Mac’s statutory authority has been amended four times since 1987:
(1) In 2008, to authorize Farmer Mac to purchase and guarantee securities backed by loans made by cooperative lenders to borrowers to finance electrification and telecommunications systems in rural areas;
(2) In 1996, to streamline the operating structure to be more competitive (allowing Farmer Mac to buy loans directly from lenders and issue guaranteed securities representing 100% of the principal of the purchased loans, modifying capital requirements and other changes);
(3) In 1991, to clarify Farmer Mac’s authority to purchase its guaranteed securities, establish the Farm Credit Administration’s Office of Secondary Market Oversight as Farmer Mac’s financial regulator and set minimum regulatory capital requirements for Farmer Mac; and
(4) In 1990, to create the Farmer Mac II program.