WASHINGTON — As the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) gathers young farmer leaders from across the country for three days of advocacy and leadership training at its National Leadership Convergence, young farmers are celebrating the introduction of two bipartisan beginning farmer bills in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“These two bipartisan bills are about preserving the future of agriculture in America, and giving the next generation the chance to succeed,” said Andrew Bahrenburg, National Policy Director for NYFC. “Young farmers are ready to have this debate. This is not a partisan issue, or even a political one. Young farmers are defying the odds and growing viable farm businesses, but they can’t do it alone.”
Bills are in line with the NYFC’s farm bill agenda
Both bills propose legislation to help young farmers in ways long advocated by NYFC. The measures are now on a path for possible inclusion in the next farm bill.
The Young and Beginning Farmers Act, introduced last week by Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) and Ryan Costello (R-PA), supports the next generation of farmers and ranchers by expanding their access to affordable farmland, improving outreach and delivery of federal programs to new farmers, and increasing investments in training, business development, and local markets.
The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2017, introduced today by Reps. Tim Walz (D-MN) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), focuses on beginning farmer barriers related to conservation, credit, rural development, crop insurance, and research.
NYFC has endorsed both bills, and is preparing its young farmer leaders to help advance them as Congress works on the next farm bill.
Longstanding advocates for young farmers
NYFC was a strong advocate for young farmers in the 2014 Farm Bill. The organization plans to announce its young farmer agenda, together with its 2017 national young farmer survey, in coming weeks. Headquartered in upstate New York, the coalition has grown to 38 chapters across 27 states and the District of Columbia, with legislative offices in Washington, D.C.
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) is a national advocacy network of young farmers fighting for the future of agriculture. Visit NYFC on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
—National Young Farmers Coalition
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