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      Two Rural Lending Milestones Set In Kearney

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      One billion dollars, that's the amount of money loaned out by the USDA for rural home ownership, and that milestone was set right here in our own back yard.

      Two presentations were made at Kearney's Farmers and Merchants Bank on Friday -- one for the couple receiving the one billionth guaranteed home loan and the other for the bank itself that signed the loan and is one of the top ten lenders participating in the program.

      Bank officials are grateful to be a part of the process.

      "I was excited, I was really excited. I love Rural Development, I love working with them," said Farmers and Merchants Bank Vice President Lori Leonard. "The people are great, and I was also excited for my customers that they were the one billionth, you know. It's an exciting day you know, it's an honor."

      Farmers and Merchants Bank, that signed the one billionth loan for the new Axtell homeowners, has been rewarded in past years for being one of the USDA's top ten lenders in Nebraska.
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