Bill to help beginning farmers overcome barriers has been signed into law


Bill to help beginning farmers overcome barriers has been signed into law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed a bill into law that could help the next generation of farmers by removing barriers to entry and exit.

House Bill 95 authorizes income tax credits for beginning farmers who attend financial management programs or individuals and businesses that sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, and equipment to beginning farmers.

North central Ohio farmer Jeff Dean says it’s difficult to get into farming.

“It’s nearly impossible for anybody that doesn’t marry into it or inherit it. Even when their family is involved in farming, it’s very difficult for the next generation to get involved and they need all the help they can get. If we can do some tax abatement to help young farmers get involved, I’m all for it,” he says. “It’s so financially expensive. Even if you can find ground to rent, buying equipment and the risk is so hard at first that it’s very difficult to get started.”  

He tells Brownfield he’s hopeful the legislation will be picked up in other states.

“I’m hoping this legislation will show that it works and helps farms and maybe the federal government can copy it and we can have federal tax relief for owners selling ground to beginning farmers. To me personally, that’s my ultimate goal because that would be more effective than just the state relief.”

Many Ohio ag groups pleased the bill has become law.

Ohio Farm Bureau members backed the bill in support of the next generation of farmers.

OFBF Executive Vice President Adam Sharp says, “the idea for HB 95 all started because younger Ohio Farm Bureau members who were working their way into agriculture, along with more experienced members looking to step away from the industry, were facing many obstacles when it came to working on a transition plan. Through their recommendations, our organization worked through the policy development process to successfully add incentives for new and beginning farmers to the list of important issues Farm Bureau advocates for every day. Those grassroots efforts have now come to fruition, and we appreciate Governor DeWine signing this legislation into law to allow a path forward for the next generation of agriculturalists in Ohio.”

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association says this is a positive first step. Policy Director Amalie Lipstreu says, “we look forward to working with agricultural leaders in the Ohio legislature to continue to support an industry that is critical to our future.” 

The bill is also supported by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Poultry Association, Ohio Sheep Improvement Association, Ohio AgriBusiness Association and more.