A recently introduced U.S. House bill would give an economic boost to young people in agriculture by allowing 4-H and FFA students age 21 and younger to keep more of the modest income they earn. The students can turn around and put the money toward higher education or future agricultural projects.
The Student Agriculture Protection Act of 2019 (H.R. 1770) would create a tax exemption for the first $5,000 of income students earn from projects completed through 4-H or FFA.
“The long-term sustainability of agriculture depends on talented young people pursuing careers in farming and ranching, as well as related fields and food-chain professions,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Student agricultural projects encourage interest in fields of study that will provide the next generation of farmers, ranchers, food scientists, agricultural engineers, agronomists, horticulturalists and soil scientists.”
The Farm Bureau-supported measure was introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas). Congressman McCaul said, “Our nation was built by hardworking farmers who have fought to keep the United States a world leader in agriculture and whose work helps maintain a strong local economy here in Texas. As the age of our farmers rise, we must ensure more young farmers are joining the workforce to continue this vital work.”
“This bill eliminates needless barriers for our student farmers and allows them to save for future endeavors such as their college education. Our future is dependent upon a robust, diverse American agriculture sector. The Student Agriculture Protection Act will both inspire and incentivize student farmers to join the legacy of patriotic farmers in Texas.”
“For those of us involved in the industry, it’s no secret that today’s youth will play a critical role in future innovation in agriculture. Supporting students as they pursue agricultural projects is an important step in directly impacting the future of agriculture,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “They are the ones who will apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to solve real-world ag challenges and take the industry into the next century. Empowering young people to pursue hands-on experiences through agriculture projects enables us to expose them to a wide variety of career options, fill the talent pipeline and drive the economy.”