McCaul introduces bill to support future farmers
May 20, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) joined by House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-GA) and fellow Representatives Tracey Mann (R-KS), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rick Crawford (R-AR), and Cynthia Axne (D-MI) introduced the Student Agriculture Project Act (SAPA), which would support the future of the U.S. Agriculture industry by investing in students who dedicate their time to agriculture projects.
SAPA would place more money in the pockets of agricultural students by creating a tax exemption for the first $5,000 that students under the age of 18-years-old, earn through 4-H or FFA projects.
“Investing in agriculture students today is an investment in the future of this critical industry and will ensure the U.S. maintains a secure and steady food supply,” said McCaul. “This legislation encourages students to participate in 4-H and FFA projects by eliminating unnecessary barriers for young farmers and allows them to earn a modest income.”
Investments in agricultural education programs are investments in our nation’s food security, public health and the vitality of rural communities,” said Scott. “As farmers in Georgia and across the country grow older and prepare to retire, it is more important than ever to encourage the young people who will innovate our agricultural future to stay involved in this vital profession. This common-sense tax exemption will eliminate an unnecessary barrier toward student participation in two of the agriculture industry’s leading talent pipelines and provide tangible support for our student farmers’ hard work.
“The average age of the American farmer is on the rise, and we are seeing fewer young people stay on the farm,” said Mann. “The Student Agriculture Protection Act encourages students to pursue farming, ranching, and other agricultural careers by incrementally exempting their agricultural projects from taxes. We will all depend on the next generation of ag producers to feed, fuel, and clothe the world.”
“Agriculture is the backbone to our nation’s economy and essential to every community. The future of this industry depends on our youth, who will one day become the defining innovators of this field,” said Cuellar. “The Student Agriculture Protection Act will allow thousands of students who participate in livestock and county fairs across the country to take home a larger portion of what they earn. Therefore, giving them the ability to save for their future and remain committed to this line of work. By attracting and retaining skilled farmers and workers in the agricultural industry, we will greatly contribute to our nation’s economic success.”
“The average age of farm producers in the U.S. is rising, so we must support our aspiring young farmers to ensure the next generation carries forward the task of producing the most affordable, abundant, and safe food supply,” said Crawford. “The Student Agriculture Protection Act is an investment in the future of the agriculture sector, and I thank Rep. McCaul for introducing this legislation to enable our young people to further their agricultural careers.”
As a former 4-H kid myself, I know the value of an agricultural education in our communities; and I believe we must do more to support those who are interested in making a career in agriculture,” said Axne. “Bipartisan legislation like the Student Agriculture Project Act supports our next generation of Iowa farmers, and I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bill today.”
SAPA would lower the tax burden on agriculture students by creating a tax exemption, giving them an opportunity to invest more of what they have earned into future projects, college funds, or savings accounts. Typical 4-H and FFA projects include showing animals at local and state fairs, growing and harvesting crops, building agricultural mechanic projects and many others.