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Helping beginning farmers get started

An Ohio bill provides tax credits for beginning farmers who participate in a financial management program

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A piece of legislation in Ohio is providing tax incentives to beginning farmers who educate themselves about operating an agribusiness.

House Bill 95 passed through the House and Senate of the Ohio legislature on April 6.

The bill provides tax credits for beginning farmers who participate in a financial management program, and to any businesses selling land, livestock or equipment to a beginning farmer.

Ohio’s director of agriculture and representatives from land grant colleges will certify programs that qualify a beginning farmer for the tax credits.

The credits would be in place for five years and the program would have a cap of $10 million.

To be considered a beginning farmer in Ohio, one must meet certain criteria.

This includes:

  • Intending to farm in Ohio or has been farming in the state for fewer than 10 years,
  • Having a household income of less than $800,000,
  • Submitting a projected earnings statement and demonstrate profit potential.

Ohio isn’t the only state to have such legislation.

Similar bills have been passed in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Iowa, for example.

The average age of an Ohio farmer is almost 60.

Figures from the 2017 Census of Ohio Agriculture show the state has welcomed 34,000 new farmers since 2012.

This bill will help ensure new producers are positioned well to keep Ohio’s ag industry stable.

“Agriculture is the backbone of Ohio’s economy and with the average age of Ohio farmers at 58-years-old, we must do something to get the next generation to look at farming as a career choice,” said State Rep. Susan Manchester, the bill’s primary sponsor, WFIN reported. “This legislation not only gives existing farmers a financial reason to pass on their trade, but also keep agriculture strong in the state.”

Multiple Ohio ag organizations including the Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and Ohio Pork Council support the bill.

The bill now goes to Governor Mike DeWine for his signature.


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