The Washington DC 100: Farmland policy will determine fate of family farms

America’s farmers are aging. For every farmer under 35, there are six over 65. Millions of acres need new farmers. Yet farmland is too expensive for young farmers. It’s why they can’t get started. It’s why they quit.

Changing course requires action: farmers should skip capital gains when selling to another farmer during life; conserved farmland must remain affordable to farmers; tax credits are needed to encourage farmers to rent or sell to beginners.

Without policy, land won’t go to young farmers. It will be developed, consolidated or sold to non-farmers. And family farming will never be the same.

– Lindsey Lusher Shute, Executive Director and Co-founder, National Young Farmers Coalition