Arkansas Farmers Speak Out in Support of BFRIDA

While the onset of Spring has farmers across the country sowing seeds, plowing fields, and preparing for a new season, the appropriations process for the Farm Bill is underway in Washington DC. This process—in which funding is allocated for specific programs—is markedly important in determining the Farm Bill’s ability to truly offer support for young and beginning farmers. One of the 2014 Farm Bill “wins” was the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account (BFRIDA) Program. If funded, BFRIDA would develop a program to award financial education and government-matched savings accounts for approximately 3,200 young and beginning farmers and ranchers over the next four years. NYFC knows that new and beginning farmers often have a difficult time finding sufficient capital to begin or to expand their operations. We believe wholeheartedly that IDAs need to be funded and that they represent a very tangible way to help farmers purchase land, scale up their production, or buy a new tractor. In a country where government support programs are often inaccessible for smaller producers, the IDA program is most certainly a breath of fresh air. Currently, President Obama has recommended that the IDA program be funded at $2.5 million, which would create an IDA pilot program in[...]Read More