A Commitment To Our Farmers
Josh grew up in a small town that ran on agriculture. The town was supported by small family farms that supported the local businesses. As Josh got older, he saw many small farmers retire and sell their land, either because they couldn’t pass their land on or because they were priced out of the industry. When the small farms folded, the businesses in town closed and the town slowly dried up. This is a tragedy, and it’s happening all over the Fifth District.
We must support our small farms by:
- Carving out tax protections within the estate tax for small family farms, eliminating capital gains taxes at death for farm inheritances and creating a plan for structured staggered repayment of delinquent taxes on family farms. We need small farms, and no family should lose their land because they are too tax-burdened to pass it on.
- Reworking our current farm policy so it is less burdensome on small farms; current policy designed to regulate giant agribusinesses isn’t cost-effective for small farms and prevents them from exploring sustainable practices, organic certification and direct-to-consumer models like CSAs and farm stores.
- Increasing access to low-interest, federally backed microloans and cost-share support to allow farmers just starting out to buy land at prices they can afford, and to give farmers looking to transition into sustainable and regenerative farming practices access to supportive capital.
- Extending special protections for agricultural land historically farmed by Black and Indigenous people and expanding the Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant program for farmers of color who disproportionately lost their land to consolidation and buyouts.