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Rep. Collins seeks support for farmers

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) says Washington needs to do more to ensure young people become actively involved in agriculture.

Collins is a co-sponsor of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2013 (H.R. 1727). This legislation addresses the ongoing credit, conservation, research, and training needs of America’s beginning farmers and ranchers. Large portions of this legislation are a part of the bipartisan, five-year Farm Bill recently approved by the House Agriculture Committee, of which Collins is a member.

“Farming and the agriculture industry play a critical role in the economy of our area, and in communities all around the country,” said Collins. “But the average age of our nation’s farmer is 57 years old.”

As Congress works to finalize a comprehensive Farm Bill over the next several weeks, the legislation advanced by both the House and Senate includes important components of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act. These measures will break down barriers for new agriculture entrepreneurs who often face limited access to land and markets, high land costs and a lack of sufficient support networks.

The legislation also works to provide military veterans with an interest in agriculture with targeted assistance in navigating USDA policy and eligibility requirements for farm bill programs.

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