Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan says grants awarded to 40 organizations throughout the country will provide training and assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers that will help them run successful and sustainable farms. Merrigan notes that these funds will help provide the training needed to ensure these producers become profitable and sustainable.
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awards the grants through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program. It specifically focuses on producers who have been farming or ranching for 10 years or fewer. Under the program, NIFA will make grants to organizations that will implement programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers.
The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provided $18 million in funding this year. This is the second year of the program.