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RELEASE: Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduces legislation focused on equitable land access solutions for the next generation of farmers through the 2023 Farm Bill


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

Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2023) This afternoon, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act in the Senate. The legislation aims to increase access to capital for underserved farmers, boost training and economic opportunity for beginner farmers, and help make land more affordable for young and Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) farmers through the 2023 Farm Bill. A bipartisan version of the bill was introduced in the House on June 9, 2023. 

With access to land continuing to be the top barrier young and BIPOC farmers face in launching and sustaining careers in agriculture, funding through the Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act would address the land access crisis head on by providing critical resources to both individual producers as well as community-led organizations to implement farmland access, retention, and transition projects. The proposed $100 million of annual funding over ten years will complement the Department’s existing farm production and conservation programs, and be available to a wide variety of entities, such as tribes, municipalities, non-profits, and cooperatives. Funded projects will provide direct access to funding for producers and will serve the needs of farmers and ranchers who have been most marginalized from accessing federal resources.

“The Farm Bill touches the lives of virtually every American and is vital to our state’s economy,” said Senator Smith. “The bills that I am introducing today will help beginning farmers access land and develop markets for their products, two of the biggest issues I have heard during my Farm Bill listening sessions around the state. I will continue working to get them across the finish line and make this year’s Farm Bill as strong as possible.”

“Secure access to affordable, quality farmland is the top challenge facing the passionate young people across the country who are stewarding land and feeding their communities. The Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act is exactly the kind of leadership we need from Congress in addressing this barrier head on, elevating the importance of local leadership, and delivering material benefits for historically underserved farmers, ranchers, and forest owners,” said Holly Rippon-Butler, Land Policy Director with the National Young Farmers Coalition

The Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act expands upon the novel Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program (LCM), a one-time, $300 million funding opportunity offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in August 2023. USDA recently announced 50 awardees of the program. These organizations will implement projects designed to increase land access for underserved farmers, connect available land to underserved producers who have challenges in accessing land, and restore lands into the hands of those who have been underserved. 

Secure, equitable access to land is critical for ensuring national food security, and an investment in access to farmland in the next farm bill will generate immense returns for taxpayers,” said David Howard, Policy Development Director at Young Farmers. “The Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act, makes a critical investment in locally-led solutions that support farmers and ranchers in increasing food access, strengthening local supply chains, growing rural economies, and building climate resilience.”

“Across the Midwest, farmers recognize that we are at a crossroads as an unprecedented number of farms will change hands over the next decade,” said Sarah Goldman, Policy Organizer with the Land Stewardship Project. “We need bold solutions and investment to ensure that a new generation of Young, Beginning, and BIPOC farmers become the next stewards of the land. This bill will allow for creative and flexible solutions that facilitate pathways for land transition and provide support to allow new farm businesses to thrive.”

“Iowa Valley RC&D has been working for 25 years to build vibrant rural communities in Eastern Iowa. Land access and vibrant markets for beginning farmers are a cornerstone of resilient rural communities,” said farmer Jason Grimm, Iowa Valley RC&D Executive Director and Owner of Grimm Family Farm in Iowa. “New farmers or returning generations of the family farm support rural school districts, shop in local stores and attend community events. Iowa Valley RC&D was honored to recently be awarded a Increasing Land, Capital and Market Access Grant from the Farm Service Agency, and applaud the sponsorship of the Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act by Senator Smith. As a young farmer myself, my wife and I have chosen to set roots in our local community, send our three children to the local school district in Williamsburg but we need more support to ensure that we can gain long term land access to grow our farm business into a longstanding venture. The proposed $100 million of funding for the program over 10 years would provide the necessary foundation for USDA’s programs to create vibrant rural communities across Iowa and the Country.” 

This program, if included in the Farm Bill, could be a catalytic opportunity to support young BIPOC farmers across the country with real dollars for land access, retention, and transition. Some examples on what this program could look like in action are:

  • Creative financial solutions to low credit access like revolving funds with low to no interest loans and forgivable loans;
  • Supporting land banks to provide targeted services to young, BIPOC growers;
  • Infusion of funds to non-profit organizations that provide grants or awards to young, BIPOC farmers to acquire land;
  • Supporting Tribal governments to buy back land and make it available to native producers;
  • Providing funds to granting organizations to award to farmers to acquire legal services related to land acquisition;
  • And supporting community held land options from cooperative ownership to community land trusts.

Young farmers desperately need access to quality, affordable farmland. Congress must act now to ensure that investment in secure and equitable land tenure for the next generation is funded through the 2023 Farm Bill. We look forward to working together with Members of Congress, the USDA, farmers, and our partner organizations to further this legislation and through the implementation work that will follow.

Please visit 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.

Take action now to support land access for the next generation!

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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, and on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
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