Photo courtesy of cindyaxneforcongress.com
While farmers are facing many challenges, from uncooperative weather to trade wars, a bipartisan piece of legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Representative Cindy Axne hopes to bring some relief to beginning producers.
Congresswoman Axne recently introduced the Farmers’ Access to Resources and Machinery, or FARM, Act. She says the legislation builds on the success of the state-level Aggie Bond program. Some changes include increasing the amount of financing that can be used towards farm improvements and equipment, and updating the eligibility requirements to make them more consistent with the standards used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.
Axne says this bill is needed as U.S. farmers are slowly becoming an “endangered species,” with the average age of producers at 57.5 years old, “We’ve got a lot of folks who are retiring or people beginning to think about retiring and we need to look ahead and support our next generation farmers. So this gives us an opportunity to allow those beginning farmers a better loan program so that they can get the financing they need for land, equipment, livestock, etc. So that we can continue to boost opportunities for young farmers and our opportunity to pass our farms onto our kids here in Iowa, and still have a lot of family farms in our state.”
Axne adds, the FARM Act is supported by the National Young Farmers Coalition, Iowa Pork Producers, and Iowa Soybean Association. To hear more from Axne, listen to Thursday’s Let’s Talk Guthrie County Program at raccoonvalleyradio.com.