HB 95 testimony

After multiple efforts to pass similar legislation didn’t pan out in 2019 or 2020, tax credit legislation to establish the next generation of farmers while helping the current generation transition their operations is up for consideration again in Columbus.

HB 95 establishes an income tax credit for beginning farmers who participate in a financial management program, administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The bill also creates an income tax credit for established farmers who sell or rent agricultural assets to beginning farmers. Several Ohio Farm Bureau members testified this week in front of the Ohio House Agriculture and Conservation Committee in support of this legislation.

“Farm Service Agency provides opportunities for young and beginning farmers, but the time that it takes from application to loan closing is significantly longer than a traditional loan,” said Bennett and Liza Musselman during their testimony. They are part owners/operators of Musselman Farms in Pickaway County. “Young farmers have an added obstacle of finding a seller that is willing to wait additional days for a sale to be completed. The passage of HB 95 will give a financial incentive for sellers to work with a young beginning farmer, and thus help level the playing field.”

Bill specifics

If passed in its current form, a beginning farmer would have to intend to farm in Ohio, or have been farming in Ohio for less than 10 years, have a household net worth of less than $800,000, provide the majority of the day-to-day labor for and management of the farm, have adequate farming experience or demonstrate adequate knowledge about farming and participate in a financial management program approved by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“The agriculture industry is extremely difficult to break into if you or your family do not have a background in farming,” said first-generation farmer Nathan Brown, who represents Farm Bureau members from Adams, Brown, Clermont and Highland counties on the OFBF board of trustees. “High amounts of capital are needed to invest in land, equipment, labor, crops or livestock, financial management plans and compliance with regulations, just to get started. New farmland is not readily available, so there is restricted access to the ground required, adding yet another barrier to individuals who are looking to start a career in farming. HB 95 gives beginning farmers a chance to pursue their passion and enter the agriculture industry.”

Next steps

The Ohio House Agriculture and Conservation Committee will continue to vet the bill, and then it will move to the House floor for consideration.

Photo: Pictured from left Rose Hartschuh, Bennett Musselman, Liza Musselman and Nathan Brown. The photo was taken prior to COVID-19.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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