Top North Carolina officials are asking U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona for student loan forgiveness for farmers.
Attorney General Josh Stein and Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler asked Cardona in a letter earlier this month to add farmers to the list of those eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which pays off the balance of a Federal Direct loan for anyone who works 10 years in public service and has been making payments on the loan.
“I can think of no greater public service than devoting one’s life to feeding this nation,” said Stein, in a press release. “We must do more to support young people who invest in their education and their dream of farming in North Carolina. Providing loan forgiveness to young farmers would go a long way towards alleviating farmer shortages and securing our food supply for the future.”
The press release references a 2015 study that found that almost 30% of respondents were impeded by student debt from starting a farm. Business growth was stymied for another 28% for the same reason.