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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: August 11, 2016 11:32 AM
From: Senator Rob Teplitz
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pennsylvania Young Farmers Education Loan Forgiveness Program
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation to establish the Pennsylvania Young Farmers Education Loan Forgiveness Program to encourage recent college graduates to pursue careers in farming in the Commonwealth.

In the most recent report of the Census of Agriculture released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the average age of a Pennsylvania farmer was 56.1 years in 2012, an increase from 55.2 years in 2007. This and other factors lead to farmland being lost forever to development. That is why we need legislation that will support and encourage a new generation of farmers and help strengthen the Commonwealth’s leading industry for decades to come.

This program directs the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to provide up to 10 loan forgiveness awards, in the amount of up to ten thousand dollars per year, to individuals who obtain an agriculture related undergraduate degree from an approved Pennsylvania college or university and agree to operate a farm in the Commonwealth, on a full-time basis, for five years.

This legislation originated from a Senate Policy Committee Hearing I hosted in Perry County on the future of agriculture in Pennsylvania. It would restore, clarify, and expand the defunct Agriculture Education Loan Forgiveness Program to compete with a similar program recently instituted in New York.

Please join me in supporting our Commonwealth’s leading industry by encouraging more young people to consider a career in farming career. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB1376