Summary: H.R.4201 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4201. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (11/01/2017)

Young and Beginning Farmers Act

This bill amends various agricultural laws to modify and establish programs to assist beginning farmers.

The bill makes land trusts eligible for certain assistance under the Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. In administering the program, USDA must prioritize an application for purchasing an easement that maintains agricultural viability, requires subsequent purchases to be at agricultural value, or both.

The bill modifies several agricultural programs to:

  • require the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to prequalify loan applicants,
  • increase and index for inflation the limits on the amounts of USDA farm ownership loans,
  • transfer jurisdiction of the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers to the FSA,
  • establish an online customer self-service portal,
  • reauthorize the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program with increased mandatory funding and allow specified funds to be transferred for individual development accounts,
  • reauthorize the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts Pilot Program,
  • reauthorize the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program with increased mandatory funding, and
  • authorize grants for farm viability programs.

The FSA must assign state coordinators to promote communication with beginning farmers or ranchers and increase their access to USDA programs.

The General Services Administration may sell surplus farm equipment or property to socially disadvantaged, veteran, or beginning farmers and ranchers.