Hoping to ease the path for young people to explore careers in agriculture, U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced bicameral legislation that would establish a tax exemption for student 4-H and FFA projects.
The Agriculture Students Encourage, Acknowledge, Reward, Nurture (EARN) Act, S. 671, and the Student Agriculture Protection Act (SAPA), H.R. 1626, would establish a tax exemption for the first $5,000 of revenues generated by 4-H and FFA projects undertaken by students younger than 18.
“Ensuring members of student organizations like 4-H and FFA are afforded every opportunity to succeed is not only important for the student’s future, but the future of our nation’s agriculture,” Ernst, a former member of the 4-H, said. “I’m proud to support the Agriculture Students EARN Act to allow our future farmers to gain valuable experience and skills through hands-on projects. By investing in our students’ futures, we are investing in the next generation of our nation’s leaders that will be on the forefront of agricultural innovation and production for years to come.”
Congressional support for young people pursuing careers in agriculture is needed, Moran said, as the number of farmers in the country has been trending downward.
“This bill is one step we can take to encourage those involved in FFA and 4-H to turn their modest income from the agricultural projects into savings, money for education and training, or toward a future project,” Moran said. “Farming kids across the country represent the future of a critical industry and way of life, and this legislation represents an important investment in the next generation.”
McCaul said Congress must do more to encourage future farmers to stay in the business to help shore up a steady food supply for the country.
“These students across the nation today represent the future of agriculture, and enabling them to succeed means we all succeed,” McCaul said. “That is why I am proud to reintroduce the Student Agriculture Protection Act. This bill would eliminate unnecessary barriers for our young farmers to ensure the U.S. remains outfitted with innovative minds that have allowed us to be the world leader in the agricultural industry.”
Examples of 4-H and FFA projects that would fall under the legislation include showing livestock at county fairs, growing and harvesting crops, and building agricultural mechanical projects.