Our nation’s farmers and ranchers are aging, and many of them will reach retirement without a succession plan in place that ensures the ongoing viability and vitality of their operation. At the same time, aspiring farmers nationwide are facing significant barriers to success in agriculture, including: the limited availability of affordable and desirable farmland, challenges in acquiring start-up capital and financing, and inadequate access to hands-on training and risk management tools.
Nearly 100 million acres of farmland (enough to support nearly 250,000 family farms) is set to change hands over the next five years – during the course of our next farm bill. To keep our agricultural economy strong, we need to facilitate the transfer of skills, knowledge, and land between current and future generations of family farmers. We can do this by ensuring that our federal policies make it possible for the next generation of American producers to support their families, revitalize rural communities, and protect our shared natural resources for generations to come.
The 2018 Farm Bill should ensure a bright future for America’s family farmers by knocking down long-standing barriers to entry and opening new doors to economic opportunity. This legislation will ensure that the farm bill gives real support to aspiring and retiring farmers and ranchers, as well as the American public, by: