Thanks to the leadership of Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Max Baucus (D-MT), and to calls and visits by NSAC members and supporters, a group of senators has delivered a letter to the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee in support of funding for beginning farmers and ranchers.
Last Wednesday, Senators Klobuchar and Baucus and 12 other Senate colleagues delivered a “Dear Colleague” letter to urge the Senate ag appropriations subcommittee to fully fund the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account (BFRIDA) program at $5 million in 2011.
The IDA program was a major focus of meetings during the beginning farmer fly-in, organized by NSAC in early March. Created in the 2008 Farm Bill, the program would fund matched savings accounts and financial training for beginning farmers and ranchers in 15 pilot states, filling a serious gap in access to credit that poses a barrier to many beginning farmers. Thus far, the program has not been funded.