WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a meeting of the House Agriculture Committee that lasted into the early morning hours, Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) is pleased to announce the passage of two amendments to the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012, known as the Farm Bill. Congresswoman Fudge sponsored the USDA Microloan and the USDA Youth Loan amendments. Both amendments are enormous victories for the 11th Congressional District and national urban agriculture movement. This was a bipartisan effort supported by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.
As a strong advocate for urban and youth farming, the Congresswoman’s legislative accomplishments show her commitment to improving federal agricultural credit programs to better meet the needs of small, young, beginning, veteran and urban farmers and ranchers.
Congresswoman Fudge’s USDA Microloan initiative will provide nontraditional farmers with loans up to $35,000, help streamline the application process, and minimize administrative burdens. This initiative comes with no cost to the government.
The Congresswoman’s USDA Youth Loan amendment breaks down the residential barrier that kept urban youth from accessing agriculture loans. Formally USDA Youth Operating Loans were only available to young people who live in rural areas. Now ALL youth, no matter where they live, have access. This amendment also comes at no additional cost to the federal budget.
“The passage of these amendments is a victory for America’s youth and urban farmers. Both pieces of legislation are ground-breaking by eliminating nonsensical barriers for urban farmers. Now these Americans will have the same access as rural farmers in agriculture, a billion dollar industry. This is how we create jobs and get Americans back to work” says Congresswoman Fudge!