Click to hear KMZU’s Nathan Stuedle speak with Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Brian Munzlinger:

Brian Munzlinger

Several Missouri agricultural associations and groups joined lawmakers at the State Capitol in Jefferson City earlier this week to show their support for the Missouri New Farmers Act.  Missouri Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Brian Munzlinger said the age and decreased number of farmers has become a concern.  “This is an issue I’ve been contemplating for a long time,” said Munzlinger, “Actually, when I went over the age of the American farmer this year, it really hit home.  With the declining number of farmers we have today and the increasing age of the average farmer, I thought it was something we would try to work on here in the state of Missouri.”

Chairmen Munzlinger noted that farmers have a big responsibility.  “Less than 2% of the population provide the food for all Americans, plus a lot of other countries, too,” said Munzlinger, “It’s imperative that we keep a new generation coming in and that they’re able to latch onto what we’ve done in the past.”

The bill would authorize $12 million in new tax credits to support producers who have been involved in farming for less than 10 years.”We need to provide some kind of incentive to get the young farmers out there because it’s a very capital-intensive industry,” said Munzlinger, “Those are the ones I’m hoping we can keep on the farm.”