Murphysboro republican Congressman Mike Bost and Florida democrat Al Lawson introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday to try to help America's agriculture industry.
The Veterans' Agricultural Apprenticeship Act instructs the USDA to work with state departments of agriculture to identify farmers and ranchers eligible for a direct loan to train apprentice veterans. The loan would be paid back to the USDA after the harvest season.
The USDA says the average age for a farmer is now 58 and has been on the rise for 30 years. It says this trend could be changed by encouraging veterans to enter the agriculture industry since nearly 45 percent of veterans come from rural America.