The National Young Farmers Coalition is a network of nearly 200,000 farmers, ranchers, and supporters building a brighter future for U.S. agriculture. Working to reform policy to make land, capital, and training more accessible to young farmers and ranchers; supporting a growing network of local farmer chapters; and providing farmer-to-farmer technical resources and services. Read the 2018 Annual Report to learn about the National Convergence event, State Policy updates, Farm Bill wins, finding farmland, and farmer-to-farmer support and training. The young farmers featured in this report are demanding a seat at the table.
Sophie Ackoff says, “Over the past ten years our Coalition has transformed the energy of the young farmer movement into a powerful force for change. As CoExecutive Directors, Martin [Lemos] and I commit to prioritizing racial equity in our work and across our organization, creating systems for farmers to truly lead our work, and taking strong action on climate change, the biggest threat to our farm future.”
In the House, HR 3232 would add farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. In the Senate, the Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act (S.2168), would create the Agricultural Loan Forgiveness Program, a loan forgiveness program specifically for farmers and ranchers that would provide a pathway out of student loan debt, bolster the nation’s agricultural economy and provide security to its food supply.
Take action today to support and help move forward this crucial legislature!! Text “student loans” to 40649 and *click here* to ask your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act because #farmingispublicservice!
Farming is a capital-intensive occupation and student loan debt is often prohibitive for young people in getting the credit needed to start their own farms and contribute to their local economies. These bills would help make farming a viable career choice for young people as our nation’s average age of farmers creeps higher and higher. They would allow the nation to invest in retaining more young farmers who are highly educated, experienced, and pursuing successful agricultural careers, but struggling under the burden of student loan debt.