WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Ranking Member Mike Braun released a report entitled, “Feeding the Future,” which examines the challenges that older farmers are facing and provides recommendations to Congress and the Administration to secure America’s future in agriculture.
“America’s food security is national security. With one in three farmers preparing to retire in the next decade, we cannot afford to stand back and watch as the nation’s agricultural industry reaches a tipping point without a plan to feed the future. A lot of farms are going to go up for sale and we need to make sure that America isn’t bought up acre by acre by foreign competitors”—Sen. Mike Braun
Farmers are the oldest workforce in America. 40% of the nation’s farmland is owned by farmers 65 and older. As these farmers retire over the next 20 years, it is expected that around 350 million acres of farmland will change hands, so it’s a priority that we safeguard our agricultural lands and food supply.
In March, Senator Braun introduced the Protecting America’s Agricultural Land from Foreign Harm Act of 2023. This bipartisan legislation would stop America’s top foreign adversaries (Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia) from purchasing U.S. farmland and was highlighted in a recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.
To ensure America’s future in agriculture, the report identifies that Congress and the federal government must adopt policies that:
- Proactively attract and retain farmers
- Increase agriculture innovation
- Streamline regulations and protect domestic agriculture
Read the full report here.
“I think we need to come up with policies that encourage people to get into farming so that you can’t only do it by being of the heritage of it in the U.S., especially in policies that try to keep family farms going from generation to generation,” Braun said in an interview with Agri-Pulse.
Read the exclusive interview with Agri-Pulse here.