Murphy, Udall Introduce Student Loan Forgiveness Legislation to Help Beginning Farmers

A news release this week from Senator Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) stated that, “After hearing directly from farmers that student loans often present a barrier to individuals who are new to farming or are looking to start their own farms, [Sen. Murphy] and U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D., N.M.) introduced new legislation, called the Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act, to create a loan forgiveness program for beginning farmers and ranchers with less than 10 years of experience. The Murphy-Udall Student Loan Forgiveness for Farmers and Ranchers Act will serve as an incentive for farmers to enter, and stay, in the agricultural industry, and strengthen opportunities for farmers to grow successful businesses. Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-2) has introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

“‘Connecticut’s farmers keep our economy running – they create good jobs and provide high-quality fresh produce to Connecticut families and shoppers around the country,’ said Murphy. ‘But I’ve heard from new and aspiring farmers around our state that staying in farming is a challenge, especially for those with thousands of dollars of student loan debt. We introduced this bill to help incentivize Connecticut’s new farmers to plant crops, buy equipment, and grow their businesses. There’s more we need to do in the 2018 Farm Bill, and I’ll keep visiting with farmers across Connecticut to get their suggestions.'”

The release added that, “In Connecticut, one in four principal farm operators are considered ‘beginning farmers,’ meaning they are operating a farm with less than 10 years of experience. Between 2007 and 2012, Connecticut experienced a 15% increase in beginning farmers – one of the largest increases in the nation.”

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