SPRINGFIELD – Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced a resolution to add farming to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program Thursday.

Student loan debt is one of the key barriers preventing more prospective farmers from entering agriculture. In an effort to help new famers, Bennett urges U.S. Congress to expand the PSLF program so it includes farming as an applicable career for loan forgiveness.

According to the Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, the PSLF program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after you have made 120 (10 years) qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

“Many of today’s young farmers are discovering agriculture in college,” Senator Bennett said. “The debt that they’ve accumulated from college is preventing them from getting started, so it’s important we work to include them in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.”

The measure, Senate Resolution 992, passed the Senate Agriculture Committee with a vote of 10-0.

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