Nikki Budzinski introduces bipartisan agricultural bill


By Lisa Chasanov, Summer Editor

Rep. Nikki Budinski (IL-13) helped to introduce the Increasing Land Access, Security and Opportunities Act on Friday, a bipartisan bill intended to to “help bring the next generation into family farming,” according to a statement by the congresswoman’s office. 

The bill seeks to expand a 2022 United States Department of Agriculture program that funds “cooperative agreements or grants for projects that help move underserved producers from surviving to thriving.” 

Budzinski’s proposal includes a $100 million increase in funding for the program per year for the next five years.

Alongside Budzinski, Reps. Zach Nunn, a Republican (IA-03) and Joe Courtney, a Democrat (CT-02), will also sponsor this bill. 

“I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation that will help young and beginning farmers gain access to land, markets and capital — the biggest barriers for new and underserved farmers,” Budzinski said. “I look forward to working together to get this legislation included in the 2023 Farm Bill.”

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    As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Budzinski is working to develop a new iteration of the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, an omnibus bill passed every five years, is intended to address issues faced by farmers across the country. 

    According to a statement from Budzinski’s office, “the 2023 Farm Bill is an important opportunity to address the challenges keeping land out of reach for the next generation of farmers.”

    The Increasing Land Access, Security and Opportunities Act has received support from agricultural interest organizations including the National Young Farmers Coalition, the American Farmland Trust, the National Family Farm Coalition, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Rural Coalition. 

    “As the average age of farmers continues to rise, our nation faces an unprecedented generational transfer of farmland,” said Tim Fink, policy director for American Farmland Trust.

    “Meanwhile, beginning and historically marginalized farmers are struggling to access farmland and the resources they need to grow viable farm businesses,” Fink said. “Today’s introduction of (this bill) reflects a growing understanding that these challenges are interrelated and that addressing them requires urgent investment and creative, community-led solutions.”

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