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The Young and Beginning Farmers Act (H.R. 4201) was introduced by Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) and Ryan Costello (R-PA).

Our nation’s agricultural sector is facing a crisis of attrition. Farmers over the age of 65 now outnumber farmers under 35 by a margin of six to one, and U.S. farmland is overwhelmingly concentrated in the hands of older farmers. According to the USDA, over the next five years—the lifespan of the next farm bill—nearly 100 million acres of U.S. farmland are expected to change ownership, and will need a new farmer. At the same time, according to multiple national surveys conducted by the National Young Farmers Coalition, young farmers in every region identify access to farmland as the top challenge they face.

Fortunately, many young Americans are stepping up and launching careers in agriculture, but there are many structural barriers standing in their way. The future of farming and our rural communities depend on making young farmers a priority in the next farm bill.

The Young and Beginning Farmers Act (H.R. 4201) addresses three critical barriers facing the next generation of producers:

Factors like development pressure, rising land prices, and competition from established farmers make finding affordable farmland the top challenge for young farmers and ranchers.

Many new farmers are unfamiliar with USDA programs or find the application and paperwork too burdensome. Young farmers also report that USDA field staff don’t know about or promote beginning farmer programs, or how best to support young farmers in their area.

To address these barriers and support the next generation of farmers and ranchers, the Young and Beginning Farmers Act (H.R. 4201) would:

Improve access to affordable farmland

Reach young farmers with 21st-century customer service and targeted outreach

Help the next generation get trained and grow their businesses


For more information about this bill, or to add your organization to the list of supporters, please contact NYFC’s national policy director, Andrew Bahrenburg.









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