By expanding access to credit, FSA continues to help grow the industry on which our country was built - Agriculture. Through FSA, more than 128,000 loans totaling $18 billion have been issued. Last year in Maryland alone, we made over $10 million in loans. Nationwide, the number of loans to beginning farmers and ranchers has increased from 11,000 in 2008 to 15,000 in 2011. More than 40 percent of USDA's farm loans now go to beginning farmers, while lending to socially disadvantaged producers has increased nearly 50 percent since 2008. Maryland has been a leader in both categories.