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NFU Supports Legislation Helping Young Farmers

WASHINGTON (May 2, 2005) – The National Farmers Union is supporting legislation introduced by Reps. Lee Terry, R-Neb., and Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., which would assist beginning farmers and ranchers who want to buy their own land, while also preserving more of the nation's agricultural acres.

This new legislation will help younger farmers and ranchers compete with larger producers. At the same time, it will preserve productive farm ground near urban areas.

“I commend Representatives Terry and Pomeroy and the bi-partisan Congressional cosponsors of this legislation to provide tax incentives to encourage young people to become our next generation of family farmers and ranchers,” said NFU President Dave Frederickson. “We need to take steps now to encourage young people to choose farming and ranching as a profession, to ensure that our nation’s consumers continue to enjoy the safest, most affordable, high quality and abundant supply of food and fiber in the world in the future.”

Soaring land values and the high rate of absentee land owners often prevent young agricultural producers from owning land. This bipartisan legislation would provide substantial capital gains relief to land owners who voluntarily sell their acres to "first-time buyer" farmers and ranchers. The bill contains the following provisions:

o 100% exemption from capital gains taxes would be given to those who sell their agriculture land to a qualified beginning producer.

o 50% exemption would be given to those who sell their agriculture land to any producer who keeps the acres in agricultural production.

o 25% exemption would be given to anyone selling agriculture land, regardless to whom they sell or for what purpose.

The bill has been endorsed by several other national and state agricultural organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, R-CALF, the National Association of Wheat Growers, and the Center for Rural Affairs.

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