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Published April 11, 2014, 10:21 AM

USDA announces $19 million in grants for beginning farmers

More than $19 million in federal grants will be available to help train agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

More than $19 million in federal grants will be available to help train agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday.

Applications for the program are due June 12. The program, managed by the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture, is designed for people aiming to start farming and those who have farmed or ranched 10 or fewer years.

Priority will be given to projects that are partnerships and collaborations led by or including nongovernmental, community-based, or school-based agricultural educational organizations. All applicants are required to provide funds or in-kind support from nonfederal sources in an amount that is at least equal to 25 percent of the federal funds requested

"USDA is committed to the next generation of America's farmers and ranchers because they represent the future of agriculture and are the backbone of our rural economy. As the average age of farmers continues to rise, we have no time to lose in getting more new farmers and ranchers established,” Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a prepared statement.

"Reauthorizing and expanding the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program is one of the many resources the 2014 Farm Bill gave us to build America's agricultural future. Through this program, we can build a diverse next generation of farmers and ranchers,” he said.

More information on the program: Click here

Also, USDA is hosting two webinars, at 2 p.m. Eastern time April 30 and May 6, for interested applicants. More information on the webinars is available at the website above.

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