Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is allocating $6 million to help farmers and ranchers who were affected by the wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, according to a March 21 press release.
“The availability of USDA conservation funds targeted toward restoring land impacted by the fires is appreciated,” Moran said. “I have asked USDA to provide maximum flexibility in administering the federal assistance programs in response to the disaster, and will continue to make clear the urgent need for more immediate assistance to those impacted.”
The funding is made available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which is a voluntary program that is designed to financially assist agricultural producers working to rebuild facilities and restore land by implementing conservation practices that address state and local resource concerns.
Ag Students EARN
Also on March 21, Moran introduced legislation with Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, to create a $5,000 tax exemption for students aged 18 or younger who earn an income through their 4-H and FFA projects.
The senate bill is known as “Ag Students EARN,” or “The Agriculture Students Encourage, Acknowledge, Reward, Nurture Act.”
“With the number of new farmers trending downward and more mouths to feed than ever across the globe, Congress must support young people who are interested in a career in agriculture,” 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.”
Student projects in 4-H and FFA typically consist of producing livestock, showing animals at state and local fairs, growing and harvesting crops and working on agricultural mechanic products.
“Ag Students EARN would lower the tax burden on the students and give them an opportunity to invest more of what they’ve earned in future projects, college funds or savings accounts,” the release states.