Could College Debt Incentivize Kids to Come Back to the Farm?

March 30, 2017 12:51 PM

As rural America faces another year of expected low farm income, the House Agriculture Committee is reviewing the financial health of the Farm Credit Administration (FCA).

The House Ag Committee is conducting a series of hearings as it prepares to work on the next Farm Bill.

On Wednesday, the FCA faced lawmakers who want to know if the agency is financially sound as farm incomes continue to decline.

“Farm Credit is leaning into this downturn in ag prices,” said James Dodson, chairman of the Farm Credit Bank of Texas. “We expected this cycle would come and we built financial strength to meet it and fulfill the mission this committee has given us.”

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., focused his questions on young farmers. He’s wondering if there’s incentive to roll college debt into farm production loans to help bring young producers back to the farm.

“I don’t think we need to be trying to craft legislation to guarantee a student loan repayment in the condition that we’re in financially, but I do think we need to be proactive in creating the conditions to incentivize young people to come back to the farm,” said Crawford.

The monthly Rural Mainstreet Index from Creighton University shows two-thirds of the rural bankers surveyed expect loan default rates to increase over the next 12 months.

Back to news



Spell Check

Dodge City, KS
3/30/2017 10:33 PM

  Agriculture has been the deadliest U.S. industry every year for the last decade at 21 per 100,000. 113 youth die each year from farming-related accidents. Less tracked deaths from respiratory disease and chemical exposure, and being disabled are not included in these statistics. "The USDA is predicting farm income will decline another 8.7% for the 4th consecutive year of declines in 2017". Sure son come back and farm!!!

Salina, KS
3/31/2017 09:40 PM

  Isn't the point of going to college is so you don't have to farm? Why would you bring college debt and add it to farm debt?

bad axe, MI
3/31/2017 07:20 AM

  I think they better figure out how there going to pay off the 68 trillion in debt they been a part of creating in this country instead of passing it on to the next generation. This country is finally running out of options to sucker the next generation into paying for the last that don't want to work.


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer