House Bill 297
151st General Assembly (Present)
House Agriculture 4/5/22
Committee Hearing takes place within twelve legislative days.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 3 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE CREATION OF THE AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES ACT.
This Act does all of the following: (1) Requires the Department of Agriculture (“Department”) to take certain actions to include socially disadvantaged farmers in the agricultural decision-making process in this State and provide outreach to socially disadvantaged farmers to make them aware of programs to assist them. (2) Establishes an agricultural training program in the Department to encourage and assist a socially disadvantaged farmer, military veteran farmer, or beginning farmer in the ownership or operation of agricultural land in this State. The Department is to collaborate with the Cooperative Extension programs at the Delaware State University and the University of Delaware. (3) Establishes an agricultural land lease program in the Department to identify land owned by this State that is suitable for agricultural use and give priority for leases to socially disadvantaged farmers, military veteran farmers, and beginning farmers. (4) Requires the Department, in collaboration with the Cooperative Extension programs at the Delaware State University and the University of Delaware, to develop a farmer incubator program that provides a military veteran farmer and beginning farmer with the opportunity to receive training on a plot of land at an incubator site operated by the Department, identify the initial and annual costs of and a location for the program, and report the Department’s findings. (5) Requires the Secretary of the Department to issue an annual report on activities required under this Act.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law