NSAC's Blog

Bill to Boost Opportunities for Beginning Farmers Introduced

April 26, 2013

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) along with nine of his colleagues, and Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) together with Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Chris Gibson (R-NY), and Collin Peterson (D-MN) have just introduced the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2013.  The Senate bill is number is S. 837 and the House bill number is H.R. 1727.

The bill invests in the next generation of American producers by:

  • Enabling access to land, credit and technical assistance for new producers.
  • Assisting new producers to launch and strengthen new farm and value-added businesses.
  • Helping new producers become good land stewards.
  • Providing training, mentoring, and research that beginning farmers and ranchers need to be successful.
  • Conducting outreach on agricultural job opportunities for military veterans

The bill was originally introduced in 2011 as input into the writing of what should have been the 2012 Farm Bill.  Many but not all of the bill’s provisions were included in either or both the Senate-passed or House Committee-passed farm bills last year.  When the farm bill did not happen, the beginning farmer bill was modified and has now been re-introduced.  The aim remains the same, to get all of its provisions included in the new five-year farm bill reauthorization.

Senator Harkin and Representative Walz’s press releases can be read here and here.

NSAC’s also issued a press release and has updated our webpages about the bill, which include an overall bill summary, a section-by-section summary, a list of co-sponsors (which is updated regularly), press clips, and a list of organizations supporting the measure.


Categories: Beginning and Minority Farmers, Farm Bill

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