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Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access so they can continue to pursue farming passionately.

Without generational access to land and institutional knowledge of farming, young farmers face difficulties entering the industry and building infrastructure for growing their business.

Payge Solidago is a Michigan organizer with the National Young Farmers Coalition. She says nearly 40% of young farmers lease their land and lack access to secure land. She said four in every five of these farmers believe their work is regenerative and supports the land to improve its condition.

“We’re talking about the ability to feed your community, the health and sustainability of the land, which is foundational to climate change. Runoff and chemicals, capturing carbon, pollinator health. All of these things farmers are thinking about, especially this younger generation.”

Solidago says she’d like to see the Land Access and Opportunities Act passed in the new farm bill.

Michigan has multiple land-reparation projects across the state to support land ownership for Black and indigenous farmers and others of color. A few that can support young farmers are the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund, the Washtenaw County Black Farmer Fund, and the West Michigan Farmers of Color Land Fund.