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Congresswoman Fudge Introduces The Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018

Congresswoman Fudge Introduces

The Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) introduced the Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018.  Senators Doug Jones (D-AL) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced identical legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Many landowners who cannot afford or find legal assistance, often pass on without leaving a will, creating heirs’ property.  In most states, their multiple descendants become tenants in common.  This type of property lacks a clear title and restricts landowner engagement with land improvement programs offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act would require the USDA to provide program eligibility to such landowners.

“The Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act connects producers to available resources they need to maintain and develop their property,” said Congresswoman Fudge. “This Act will go a long way in helping our most vulnerable families fulfill their vision for land preservation and development."

“The Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act allows heirs’ property owners to access federally backed loans to clear their title and put their land into productive use – a win for all concerned,” said Anita Ramasastry, President Uniform Laws Commission. “The Uniform Law Commission thanks Representative Fudge, and the Rural Coalition for recognizing the benefits of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) to owners of heirs’ property, and for drafting the bill to work in concert with state laws based on the UPHPA.”

“The Rural Coalition with the 120 groups who have endorsed the bill thank Representative Fudge, Senator Jones and Senator Scott and for their leadership and dedication on this critical bill,” said Rural Coalition Executive Director Lorette Picciano.  “With key input from the Uniform Laws Commission and the expertise of the historic leaders of the movement to protect Black-owned land, including the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, the Land Loss Prevention Project, the Rural Advancement Fund of the National Sharecroppers Fund, Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, Inc., and Arkansas Land and Farm Development Corporation, the sponsors have crafted effective language that will help farm families across the nation navigate a complex web of state and federal laws to bring thousands of acres of dormant land back into production.  Local communities will benefit from restoring agriculture as an economic engine, and future generations of farmers will be able to carry on sustainable agricultural production.”

Click here to view a summary of The Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018

Click here for bill text.

Click here for a list of supporting organizations.

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