Recognizing the need to help the next generation of farmers get started in a very capital intensive industry, the Ohio House passed HB 95, creating the Ohio Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program. This was a priority issue for Ohio Farm Bureau, as it will help the next generation enter agriculture by removing some of the existing barriers to entry and exit.
Under HB 95, established landowners and ag producers can receive a state income tax credit when they sell or rent land or agricultural assets like machinery, building facilities or livestock to a beginning farmer. The credit is equivalent to 5% of the sale price, 10% of the cash rent or 15% for a cash share deal. Beginning farmers also can receive a tax credit up to $1,500 for taking a qualified financial management course, but do not receive tax credits for buying land or other farm-related items.
“This was an idea that came from Ohio Farm Bureau members who have dealt with the many obstacles of getting into and out of agriculture and worked through the policy development process to successfully add incentives for new and beginning farmers to the list of important issues Farm Bureau advocates for every day,” said Jenna Reese, Ohio Farm Bureau director of state policy. “The average age of the U.S. farmer is currently 58 and because they are aging at a quicker rate than new farmers are joining the profession, that number will continue to climb. Many beginning farmers do not have the levels of capital or credit necessary to begin farming, but even beyond that, the amount of land that is zoned for agriculture is finite. HB 95 will alleviate many of those issues.”
A beginning farmer is defined as someone who:
- Intends to farm in Ohio, or has been farming in Ohio for less than 10 years.
- Has a household net worth of less than $800,000. This limit applies to 2021 and will be adjusted for inflation in future years.
- Provides the majority of the day-to-day labor and management of the farm.
- Has adequate farming experience or demonstrates adequate knowledge about farming.
- Submits projected earnings statements and demonstrates a profit potential.
- Demonstrates that farming will be a significant source of the individual’s income.
- Participates in a financial management program approved by the Department of Agriculture.
- Meets additional requirements set by the Department of Agriculture.
HB 95 now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.