Beginning Farmer & Rancher News

Dear USDA: Here's our thoughts on farm bill implementation

The 2018 farm bill contains several important changes for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Risk Management Agency (RMA), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and we thank Secretary Bill Northey for providing this opportunity to provide public comment on these changes. The below represents comments on farm bill implementation from the Center for Rural Affairs, but we hope that these comments are the beginning of a conversation with USDA about the 2018 farm bill rather than the end.

Who is going to get the farm?

Today, a vast amount of land in the U.S. is owned by those over 65 years old. Some have made their wishes clear for the future of their property. Others are courting family upheaval by not planning in concrete ways.

An age old problem, evident in literature from the Bible to King Lear to Willa Cather, in land transition is the hard questions: Who really owns the land? And, what is the role of the steward of a property? Can "fair" become "unfair" to one's children?

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