Farmland Access is the Biggest Challenge Young Farmers Face
The cost of buying or leasing land, combined with other significant start-up costs, puts a farming career out of reach for many. Farmers of color, in particular, have been historically disenfranchised from the land and unable to access USDA credit programs.
But, we need these next generation farmers on the land. Secure land tenure allows farmers to invest in practices and management systems that are sustainable, provide resilience, and strengthen the viability of our food system. It also helps protect Ohio’s disappearing farmland from development.
OEFFA Members Celebrate Statehouse Win
Beginning January 1, 2023, early career farmers can get some extra help accessing land and equipment through the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).
The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program was created through the Family Farm ReGeneration Act (House Bill 95) and signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in April 2022. This OEFFA-backed, bipartisan bill received near unanimous support and was co-sponsored by Representatives Susan Manchester (R-84) and Mary Lightbody (D-19).
Over the course of more than two years, more than 600 OEFFA members signed a petition, met with legislators, testified during hearings, and participated in lobby days to convey the importance of land access for Ohio’s 33,000 beginning farmers. Read more about OEFFA’s grassroots work that led to this victory, and see the photos of OEFFA’s members throughout this page.
What Beginning Farmers Need to Know
The tax credit is available to Ohio residents who have farmed for less than 10 years and who farm or intend to farm on land in Ohio. Beginning farmers also have to demonstrate financial eligibility, submit projected earnings statements, participate in a financial management program approved by the ODA, and meet other eligibility requirements.
In addition to receiving help accessing land or equipment from a participating asset owner, the beginning farmer receives a tax credit for the cost of the financial management program.
What Asset Owners Need to Know
Asset owners, or people or businesses that sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to a qualifying beginning farmer may apply as well.
In order for land to qualify as an asset, it must either total at least 10 acres or produce an average annual farm income of at least $2,500.
Equipment dealers and similar businesses that sell agricultural assets for profit are not eligible for the credit.
Asset owners can receive a 3.99% tax credit on the sale price or three-year gross rental income.