Wolf administration announces $59 million to support beginner farmers

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Wolf Administration announced on Tusesday that there will be $59 million available over the next decade for those who sell or rent agricultural land, livestock, equipment or other assets to qualified beginning farmers.

This money is available through Beginning Farmer Tax Credits. The program was established under the Pennsylvania Tax Code as a way to provide tax credits to those who sell or rent assets to beginning farmers.

The Department of Community and Economic Development has consulted with the Departments of Agriculture and Revenue. They will allocate up to $5 million in tax year 2020 and up to $6 million annually through the 2030 tax year.

This allocation will account for credits of 5% of the lesser of the sale price of fair market value of the agricultural asset, up to $32,000 or 10% of the gross rental income of the first, second and third year of the rental agreement, which is up to $7,000 per year.

Pennsylvania’s $135.7 billion agriculture industry feeds our economy and feeds our world. With our average farmer being 59 years old, we can’t grow and thrive without attracting new leaders to feed us in the future. These tax credits will combine with PA Farm Bill investments to provide incentives to current farmers and tear down barriers faced by aspiring farmers.

Russell Redding, Agriculture Secretary

Farmers must meet certain criteria to be eligible. The farmer must have intent to farm in Pennsylvania and provide the majority of the labor and management, related experience or transferable skills and no federal gross income from agricultural production in the past 10 years.

An application for beginning farmer certification can be found here. Asset owners can apply for tax credits here.

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