Passing it Down: Lawmakers Work Across the Aisle to Support Farm Transition

Mar 26, 2024

“America’s food security is national security.”


That was Senator Mike Braun (IN) speaking about his newly introduced legislation—The Farm Transition Act of 2024.


The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, is a bipartisan effort to break down barriers around farmland ownership, estate planning, and transitioning farming operations.


Braun stated this is a “big priority” for Hoosier farmers: “With one in three farmers preparing to retire in the next decade, we cannot afford to stand back and watch as the nation’s agricultural industry reaches a tipping point without a plan to feed the future.”


According to American Farmland Trust data from 2021, 40% of all farmland in the U.S. was owned by people aged 65 and older. Based on this statistic, 370M acres of farm ground will change hands in the next two decades.


The proposed legislation would reauthorize the Commission on Farm Transitions and seek to prevent farmland from being bought up by foreign entities and large corporations. “We need to make it easier for folks to get into farming and encourage family farms to go from generation to generation,” said Braun.


Speaking of her home state, Senator Baldwin echoed Braun’s sentiment. She noted she was proud to “usher in the next generation of Wisconsin farmers, ranchers, and growers.”


Wisconsin Farm Bureau and Wisconsin Farmers Union have already expressed their support of the legislation.

Where this goes: A similar piece of legislation, also sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans, is working its way through the House of Representatives. We’ll see if the bipartisan nature of these bills will push one of them over the finish line and onto the president’s desk.

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