OSA Testifies in Support of Beginning Farmers Bill

October 29, 2019 Ohio Soybean Association

The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) testified today before the Ohio House Agriculture & Rural Development Committee in support of House Bill 183, a bipartisan effort to create incentives to support new and beginning farmers.

“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 Representative Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) and Representative John Patterson (D-Jefferson), H.B. 183 will do the following:

  • Provide a state income tax credit to established farmers and agricultural producers that sell or rent assets such as land, machinery, building facilities, and/or livestock to a beginning farmer. This credit is equivalent to 5 percent of the sale price, 10 percent of the cash rent, or 15 percent for a cash share deal.
  • Income tax credit for new or beginning farmers who complete a financial management program.

Thanks to the work of OSA and a coalition of agriculture partners, the current bill 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,” said Cunningham.

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 H.B. 183 that address some of the difficulties that new and beginning farmers face,” said Cunningham. “Agriculture is deeply rooted in Ohio and this bill is a step toward continuing that tradition.”

Trish Cunningham, OSA Policy Committee Chair and soybean farmer from Delaware County