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NATIONAL YOUNG FARMERS COALITION

Latest from Young Farmers

RELEASE: USDA announces recipients of first-of-its-kind program aimed at increasing land access for underserved farmers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:​ Jessica Manly, Communications Director
National Young Farmers Coalition
press@youngfarmers.org, 518-643-3564 ext. 722

Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2023) Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the recipients of the Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access (LCM) Program, which was introduced on August 24, 2022. This first-of-its-kind program was created to provide funding to projects that will increase land access for underserved farmers. This funding was made available through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, as amended by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) is grateful to Congress for making these funds available, and applauds USDA for successfully and quickly implementing this program. The LCM program is responsive to the needs and requests of the Coalition’s young and BIPOC farmers who have been organizing with the One Million Acres for the Future campaign to secure a historic investment in equitable land access through the 2023 Farm Bill. This funding will support 50 projects across the country, which speaks to the diversity of need and creativity of community-led solutions. The response to this program, and the diverse mix of awarded projects illustrate the critical need for policy solutions that facilitate equitable land access, retention, and transition across the U.S. 

The LCM Program provides a model for resourcing solutions that will improve our country’s food security and the vitality of our communities into the future. Congress must act now to improve upon this model and deliver significant annual funding through the 2023 Farm Bill.

On June 9, 2023 Young Farmers partnered with Representatives Nikki Budzinski (D-IL-13), Zach Nunn (R-IA-03), Joe Courtney (D-CT-02), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) to introduce a new marker bill, the Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act, H.R. 3955, which would expand the capabilities of the LCM program and authorize $100 million per year in funding. Enacting H.R. 3955 through the 2023 Farm Bill would be a historic step toward addressing the land access crisis facing this new generation of farmers.

“We applaud the USDA for establishing and delivering on the promise of the Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program. This program directly responds to the needs expressed by farmer leaders across our network, and reflects the innovative work that community-led organizations are already doing to address land-related challenges in their regions,” said Holly Rippon-Butler, Land Policy Director with the National Young Farmers Coalition

“Today’s announcement clearly reflects the significant need for equitable and flexible land, capital, and market access funding. Securing this program in the 2023 Farm Bill is essential if we want to protect the health and vitality of our communities into the future,” said David Howard, Policy Development Director at Young Farmers. “This is the moment for Congress to take action, build on today’s investment, and ensure that the 2023 Farm Bill delivers material benefits for historically underserved farmers, ranchers, and forest owners striving to establish and grow their operations.”

We look forward to working together with members of Congress, USDA, farmers, and partner organizations across our ecosystem of advocates to ensure this historic work continues in an impactful and equitable way.

Please visit youngfarmers.org/land to learn more about the National Young Farmers Coalition’s One Million Acres for the Future campaign, made possible with support from Chipotle, which aims to equitably transition farmland to the next generation of farmers through a historic investment in the 2023 Farm Bill.

* * *

The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) is a national grassroots network of young farmers changing policy and shifting power to equitably resource the new generation of working farmers. Visit Young Farmers on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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