Farming and Ranching for Another Generation Print
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Elisha Smith   
Thursday, 02 June 2011 07:41

By Traci Bruckner, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Center for Rural Affairs

Beginning farmers and ranchers face significant challenges, including access to land and capital (thanks to rapidly increasing land values and cash rents). They also face barriers in accessing federal programs designed to assist them with getting started.

Despite these hurdles, there is no shortage of people who desire to farm or ranch. While there are challenges, there are also great opportunities -  the local food movement, alternative livestock production, and the growth in organics, to name a few.

If we want to encourage a new generation to pursue a career in agriculture, we must have a national strategy and commitment to design public policy that addresses the unique needs of beginning farmers and ranchers.

Beginning with the 1990 farm bill, Congress created programs for beginning farmers and ranchers, particularly in the area of farm credit. The 2008 farm bill went further by reworking existing provisions and crafting new initiatives and incentives.

In the 2012 farm bill, we will encourage Congress to expand and improve on this base, break down barriers to entry and give real support to ensure the effective start-up and success of new small and mid-scale producers across the country.

We will push for greater commitment to the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which provides beginning farmer and rancher training, more flexible credit provisions, increased access to conservation assistance and crop insurance that is relevant to diversified operations. We will also look for opportunities to include tax incentives to encourage leasing or selling land to beginners.

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