General

Beginning Farmer Bill on the Move

Farmland Access Legislation Moving in the Senate

Beginning Farmers gaining on-farm experience

Ohio House Bill 95- The Family Farm ReGeneration Act

The end of first year of Ohio’s 134th General Assembly brought the passage of Ohio House Bill 95 (HB 95). The Family Farm ReGeneration Act passed with almost unanimous support (Republican House Member Thomas Brinkman, Jr. was the only dissenting vote). OEFFA has been championing legislation to alleviate the overwhelming challenges beginning farmers face in finding affordable farmland for several years.

Ohio can be proud to rank 6th in the nation in the number of beginning farmers. If we are to enjoy the food security and economic development benefits of agriculture, we must ensure next gen farmers have a secure land base. This bill establishes a tax credit for farmland owners and which grants an income and franchise tax credit to any person who sells or rents agricultural assets to a beginning farmer.

How the legislation promotes land and resource connections

The credit equals:

• 5 percent of the sale price of the assets sold to a beginning farmer, up to $32,000
• 10 percent of the gross rental income in the first three years of a cash rental agreement with a beginning farmer, up to $7,000 per year
• 15 percent of the cash equivalent in the first three years of a share rent agreement with a beginning farmer, up to $10,000 per year

The same type of provisions were included in legislation that piloted this program in Minnesota. During the first year of implementing the law, they received more than 800 applications from landowners and beginning farmers. This holds promise for assisting both landowners and land seekers in the state. Ohio Representatives Susan Manchester (R-84) and Mary Lightbody (D-19) introduced HB 95 to the House Ways and Means Committee on September 28th.

How you can help

The Senate Ways and Means Committee will be hearing proponent testimony starting this week. If you would like to add your voice there are opportunities to call or present written or in-person testimony, call Amalie Lipstreu at (614) 947-1607 or email here. We need this legislation to pass the Senate and be signed into law by Governor DeWine before the end of this legislative session in the late spring of 2022. Help us to ensure a strong future for Ohio farmers today!

3 Comments

  • Dean McIlvane

    This bill also gives the seller farm tax credits for equipment and livestock sales to qualified beginning farmers. A real incentive to help the next generation when they have no heirs with interest

    • Julie Sharp

      Oh, I did not know about the livestock and equipment rule! I am a beginning farmer and I already have land but have just started buying equipment and livestock. Any help on these big initial expenses would be a big help to keeping my farm going.

  • Min Aaron k. Hopkins

    As a new beginning farmers and graduates of OEFFA Heartland New Beginning Farmers course in Columbus, Ohio in 2019 ,we are excited to here about progress in the HB95. We operate 2 urban farms on City owned landbank property that we consider learning places. We have 25’x40’high tunnel and grow in raised beds. We also lease 3 acres in Johnstown Ohio from a micro farmer that has 28 total acres. We met him in an OEFFA conference workshop . We now have 2 30’x96′ high tunnels gained from NRCS connection. We grow market crops utilizing sustainable organic practices. My wife and myself want to advocate for land access and creative policy that opens door for first generation farmers of color in Ohio. Fresh food access is an injustice in our community that we champion making available and teaching others about establishing food systems utilizing sustainable farming practices . We have counted on grant funding previously but are starting to gain the momentum to access our own farm land and compete on local markets to supply fresh food ,provide new jobs ,and teach new lifestyles in agriculture . We are part of the BIPOC community and to help advocate for better access to land and beginning paths of education to build wealth with land ownership. We know we have a lot to learn and understand ,but as people of Faith we want to lend our voices. We have next generation of farmers with 24 Grandchildren that are active with us growing ,giving and marketing our crops.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *