Next Generation of Farmers Act

Iowa’s tradition of agricultural leadership is second to none nationwide, but our farmers are getting older and family farms are closing their doors. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Census, the people who own and farm our land keep getting older. Only 15% of farmers are under the age of 55, and in Iowa, only 8% of primary producers are 35 or younger. We’re on the brink of half of the United States’ farmland changing hands in the next 20 years.

The bipartisan Next Generation of Farmers Act will expand loan opportunities for beginning farmers through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Direct Farm Ownership Loan program. Currently, these loans are accessible for eligible beginning farmers to assist with purchase or growth of a farm or ranch. The Next Generation of Farmers Act will reduce barriers to entry and open new avenues for qualification by: 

  • Reducing the three-year farm experience requirement to only one year, and  
  • Ensuring applicants can also qualify with a broadened type of experience, including work as a farm laborer, mentorship from an established producer, significant business experience, full payment of a youth USDA loan, and more. 

Iowa farmers feed and fuel the world through their hands, hearts, and hard work. Young Americans who are willing to do this essential work should be commended and supported.  

Read the bill text here: