Last week, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced the Agriculture Students Encourage, Acknowledge, Reward, Nurture (EARN) Act, that will amend the tax code to exclude from gross income the first $5,000 earned by students who are 18 years old or younger on agricultural projects completed under the supervision of 4-H or FFA.

According to the, potential agricultural projects might include showing animals at local and state fairs, growing and harvesting crops, building agricultural mechanic projects, and many other possibilities. The projects encourage responsibility and provide the opportunity for students to generate modest revenues. Money earned by a student is often used to finance future agricultural projects, deposited in savings, or used to fund a college education. The proposed legislation would protect students involved in 4-H and FFA and the money they earn from the IRS by lowering or eliminating the tax burden on these students.

Senator Moran told the Ripon Advance, “Our policies, including the tax code, should encourage this goal by fostering student interest in pursuing a career in agriculture, and I’m proud to have Sen. Ernst join me in introducing the Agriculture Students Earn Act.”

Per the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network, the average age of the U.S. farmer is over 58 years old and trending upward. By lowering the tax burden on projects, this new bill encourages more students to complete agricultural projects under 4-H and FFA. The hands-on experience that supervised agricultural projects provide aims to inspire a new generation of farmers and ranchers. Supporters of the legislation include National FFA Organization, National 4-H Council, American Farm Bureau Fed eration, National Farmers Union, and National Young Farmers Coalition.