Bill would help beginning farmers in Ohio overcome land access challenges

The Ohio House has passed a bill that would help the next generation of farmers overcome land access challenges.

HB 95, The Family Farm ReGeneration Act, would authorize tax credits for those who sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to beginning farmers. It would also provide a credit for beginning farmers who attend a financial management program.

Amalie Lipstreu is policy director of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association.

“We know because we work directly with farmers every day, the challenges that they face in accessing land,” she says. “Studies from the National Young Farmers Coalition have found that access to land is still the biggest barrier that beginning farmers face. Land is a pretty limited commodity, and the value of ag land keeps increasing over time.”

She says the legislation’s model has been used in other states including Minnesota.

“In just a little more than a year of operation, the program in Minnesota had processed applications for more than 400 landowners and 400 land seekers,” she says. “So, they saw tremendous success with this kind of policy tool.”  

Lipstreu says because HB-95 has had overwhelming support from farm and commodity groups and more, she’s hopeful the legislation will pass the senate and be signed into law this year.

OEFFA has advocated for the Family Farm ReGeneration Act since 2019. Ohio is sixth in the gernation in the number of beginning farmers.

“That’s a real bright spot for us in terms of Ohio agirulcutre and continuing to enjoy the benefits of having agriculture be one of the leading industries in the state,” she says. “So, we want to do everything we can to support these next generation farmers and ensure the land, credit, and resources they need for success and long-term viability.”

Click here for more information.

Audio: Amalie Lipstreu

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