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RELEASE: Young Farmers commends Senator Chris Murphy for championing the Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act


Washington, D.C. (December 20, 2022) Today, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) announced he will lead in sponsoring the reintroduction of the the Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act, with Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis) co-sponsoring the legislation. The new form of the bill includes adjustments that will benefit more than 250,000 additional young farmers than included in the original proposal in 2019. Young Farmers commends Senator Murphy for expanding the terms of eligibility for farmers, defining a farmer as any farmer or farm employee working on a “qualified farm or ranch–qualified being defined as having a farm or ranch with a farm number.”

“The Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act provides a path out of debt for many young and beginning farmers who haven’t been able to see one before. Many young farmers are held back by existing debt which can make farm financing complicated–on top of other challenges like impacts of the climate crisis, and increased input and living costs. Passing this act will open the possibility of becoming a full-time farmer or rancher to many who are currently prevented by existing loan debt. The National Young Farmers Coalition supports Senator Murphy’s commitment to easing some of the unprecedented student debt burden hindering our next generation of growers from feeding our communities and protecting the land,” said Vanessa Garcia-Polanco, Policy Campaigns Co-Director at the National Young Farmers Coalition. 

“We support changing the definition of a qualified farm because it greatly expands the universe of who is eligible for loan forgiveness. This bill would make obtaining a farm number the only requirement for participating in USDA programs,” said Tamisha Singletary, Policy Coordinator at Young Farmers.

Though the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) is imperfect, we endorse this bill for its potential to strengthen provisions for those young farmers who seek degrees before entering the industry. This program gives a chance to those who are, and have been, delayed by lack of financing for land due to their educational debt.

If passed, the reintroduced Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act would mark a major win for the young farmers who launched the Farming is a Public Service campaign in 2014.


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