Lawmakers in Congress Introduce Help for Beginning Farmers

Lawmakers introduced the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2007 in Congress this week.

Legislators in both the House and Senate introduced a bill this week to help new farmers and ranchers get started in agriculture.

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2007 is sponsored by Representatives Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn., in the House and, in the Senate, by Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, along with Committee Members Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Provisions of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2007 include:

  • Establishing the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, a beginning farmer and rancher training and support initiative that would provide $25 million per year in competitive grants to community-based organizations training and mentoring beginning farmers and ranchers.
  • Creating savings and lending provisions that help beginning farmers and ranchers access credit and establish a pattern of savings.
  • Providing conservation incentives to assist beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers to establish conservation practices and sustainable farming systems on their farms.
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