KINGSTON – Senator Michelle Hinchey’s legislation to expand eligibility under the New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program has been signed into law by the governor.
The measure helps alleviate the student debt burden by providing grant awards for individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from a New York State college or university and plan to pursue a career in farming.
Previously, eligibility for the New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program was contingent on the applicant having graduated from college within the previous two years. Hinchey’s bill removes that eligibility barrier and replaces it with the qualification that an applicant must not have previously farmed for more than 10 consecutive years.
“With the average age of a New York farmer ever increasing, the future of our food supply and our ability to keep this leading economic driver in place largely depends on helping the next generation of farmers enter this extremely high cost-to-enter field,” Hinchey said.
She said the new law makes it more feasible for young people to start a career in farming while having more money in the bank to invest in their businesses.
Source: Mid-Hudson News