It’s not too late to speak up for beginning farmers!
Last month, we announced that Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress introduced a new bill to give young and beginning farmers the support they deserve. Despite all the partisan bickering in Washington these days, the bill, called the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act, is a ray of sunshine. But before we celebrate, we need to make sure the Opportunity Act actually passes – take a moment right now to do just that!
This bill does some very important things for new farmers:
- Gives young farmers a foothold in USDA grant and loan programs;
- Funds farmer training opportunities through universities and community based organizations (think MOFGA’s Journeyperson program and Farm Beginnings classes);
- Focuses land trusts on providing affordable land access to new farmers.
To win these needed changes, we must build immediate and broad support for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act in Congress. Time is critical because staffers for the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture are sitting at their computers writing the Farm Bill right now. We need a landslide of members of Congress to sign on as co-sponsors to make sure this bill moves forward.