The average age of farmers continues to climb, more than 100 million acres of farmland will changes hands in the near future, and the biggest challenge identified by beginning farmers is access to land.
OEFFA is working to see how the state of Ohio could do more to ensure a future for agriculture. More than a year ago, we began meeting with members of the Ohio Legislature to alert them to a legislative tool Minnesota recently passed.
In little more than one year, the Minnesota Beginning Farmer Tax Credit received more than 800 applicants and provides tax credits for landowners that transfer land to a beginning farmer. OEFFA reached out to the Ohio Farmers Union, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees to advance this idea.
In April, Representatives Susan Manchester (OH R-84) and John Patterson (OH D-99) introduced HB 183, the Family Farm ReGeneration Act, to incentivize Ohio landowners to transfer their farmland to beginning farmers.
How the Tax Credit Works
An existing landowner would complete an application to the program with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, in coordination with a beginning farmer and could be entitled to a tax credit of:
- 5 percent of the sale price of the farmland, up to a $32,000 maximum;
- 10 percent of the rental income for three years, up to a maximum of $7,000 per year; or
- 15 percent of the cash equivalent of a share rent agreement for three years, up to a maximum of $10,000 per year.
In addition to the benefit of getting access to land, beginning farmers would also be eligible for a tax credit of up to $1,500 per year for up to three years to cover participation in a financial management program.
Action on the Bill
OEFFA presented proponent testimony on HB 183 and continues to work with members of the Senate to introduce companion legislation and include this in the next state biennium budget that will be completed by the end of June.
OEFFA members will be gathering for a Lobby Day training and action to meet with legislators on Tuesday, May 7.
There is still time to contact your legislator and tell them to support the Family Farm ReGeneration Act!
Contact us to learn more about how you can help ensure the future of farming in Ohio.