A bipartisan effort to create incentives to support new and beginning farmers is gaining traction and broad support in the Ohio Legislature.
The Ohio Soybean Association recently testified before the Ohio House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in support of House Bill 183.
“The average age of farmers in Ohio increased from 54.6 in 2012 to 55.8 in 2017,” said Trish Cunningham, OSA Policy Committee chair who testified on behalf of OSA. “As this increases, the need to support the next generation of farmers becomes more critical.”
Sponsored by Rep. Susan Manchester, R-Waynesfield, and Rep. John Patterson D-Jefferson, HB 183 will provide a state income tax credit to established farmers and agricultural producers that sell or rent assets such as land, machinery, building facilities and livestock to a beginning farmer. This credit is equivalent to 5% of the sale price, 10% of the cash rent, or 15% for a cash share deal.
It will also establish an income tax credit for new or beginning farmers who complete a financial management program.
A coalition of agriculture partners are supporting the current bill, which ensures these incentives are available when selling or renting to family members.
“This piece of legislation helps beginning farmers build equity, while also incentivizing landlords and/or farmers to lease or sell their property to new farmers. This could work well for farm families, as an aging generation looking to retire from their career can pass it on to someone to continue the legacy,” Cunningham said.
One of OSA’s policy priorities is to encourage funding for beginning farmers through young farmer incentives.
“We thank the bill’s sponsors for working on solutions in HB 183 that address some of the difficulties that new and beginning farmers face,” she said. “Agriculture is deeply rooted in Ohio, and this bill is a step toward continuing that tradition.”