The Ohio House Agriculture Committee has unanimously passed House Bill 95, the Family Farm ReGeneration Act, putting us one step closer to achieving much-needed support for beginning farmer land access and providing greater resilience to Ohio’s food system!
Sponsored by Representatives Susan Manchester (R-84) and Mary Lightbody (D-19), the bill now heads to the full House for a floor vote.
The Family Farm ReGeneration Act provides an important bridge between landowners and land seekers, authorizing tax credits for those who sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to beginning farmers. It also provides a credit for beginning farmers who attend a financial management program.
Because farmland is so hard to find, first generation beginning farmer and OEFFA member Jason Ward farms more than 30 parcels of land spread across four counties and 20 miles. “Increasing pressure from large corporations and investors on landowners to sell their farmland for development purposes has been detrimental to small family farmers like me. The availability of farmland continues to decline at an alarming rate, yet there is currently no incentive for landowners to take a chance on beginning farmers, such as myself,” Jason said.
Ohio lost almost 1 million acres of farmland since 1997 and nationally, 100 million acres of land will change hands in the next few years, putting even more land at risk for development.
The good news is that there are next generation farmers excited about entering a career in agriculture, but access to land is the biggest barrier they face. Now is the time to take action to help get new farmers on the land, so that we have a future for Ohio’s food and agriculture industry.
If you support beginning farmers and farmland access, help us get this important bill across the finish line! Sign this petition now and show Ohio’s lawmakers how overwhelming the support is for beginning farmers and then contact your House member and ask them to bring HB 95 to a floor vote!