independent financial regulatory agency charged with overseeing the operation of farm credit institutions. Dealing with the banks, associations, affiliated service organizations, and other entities that make up what is known as the Farm Credit System, the FCA works to protect the interests of those who borrow from or invest in system institutions. Although it is normally prohibited from participating in the management or operations of farm credit institutions, the FCA may so participate when violations of its regulations occur. It has the power to issue cease-and-desist orders, to levy civil monetary penalties, to remove officers of farm credit institutions, to establish financial and operating reporting requirements, and to assume conservatorship over failing institutions. The FCA also has oversight responsibility for the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac), a federally chartered secondary mortgage loan and guaranty institution.