The 2019 legislative session is in full swing, and we’re following various efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and regions across the state. One important proposed bill, SB1476, will help beginning farmers enter the agricultural workforce. This is an urgent need to secure the future of our state’s agriculture industry and health of our residents.
Agriculture is one of Arizona’s top industries, and our agriculture workforce is aging. In fact, the average age of Arizona farmer is 61 years old. This important legislation would provide internships for beginning farmers, giving them a head start and supporting farms and ranches across the state. Food producing agricultural businesses, nonprofits and community colleges would be eligible for this program and can receive up to 50% reimbursement for the internship.
It is paramount to recruit beginning and young farmers and ranchers into the industry for Arizona’s economic future. However, there are a number of challenges beginning farmers face, as it requires many months or years of hands-on training to be able to succeed. Internships or apprenticeships are a recognized way to build talent and a career pipeline.
This program will not only help beginning farmers and ranchers enter a critical industry in Arizona, it will also help sustain farmers and ranchers of all sizes, large and small, across the state.
In some communities, farmers are the only source of fresh produce in their community, a critical part of the communities’ health and wellbeing. You can help this important legislation succeed! We encourage you to take action by letting your legislators know this effort is important to you and your community. Visit this site to send an email with one click! You can keep up with the status of the bill here. Stay tuned for more updates on this bill and other important legislation we’re following.
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