A Kearney bank has been honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its support of rural home ownership.
The USDA's Rural Development office called Farmers & Merchants Bank one of its top ten lenders in 2012.
The bank provided nearly $3.5 million for 35 home loans through the USDA program.
This year, 71 Nebraska lenders participated in the rural development housing programs. More than $115.7 million was lent to 1,206 rural Nebraska households.
The federal government guarantees loans in the program to encourage home ownership in rural areas with populations of less than 20,000.