US - The US Department of Agriculture's Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden (USDA) has announced more than $18 million in grants to educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers.
The grants are available through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Programme (BFRDP) administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which was authorised by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill).
"As new farmers and ranchers get started, they are really looking to their community for support. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program empowers these farmers and ranchers to bring innovative ideas to the table when it comes to addressing food security, creating economic enterprises, and building communities," said Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden.
"As we celebrate the first anniversary of the 2014 Farm Bill, programmes like these are evidence that an investment in beginning farmers and ranchers is an investment in our future".
The grant announcement was made at Recirculating Farms Coalition in New Orleans. Recirculating Farms received a BFRDP grant to develop training sessions focusing on soil-based production and aquaculture for new and beginning farmers in New Orleans.
The BFRDP programme, first established by the 2008 Farm Bill, aims to support those who have farmed or ranched less than 10 years with workshops, educational teams, training, and technical assistance throughout the United States. NIFA awards grants to organisations that implement programmes to train beginning farmers and ranchers.
The announcement was funded by the 2014 Farm Bill, which continued authorisation of this programme.
More information about USDA support for new farmers and ranchers is available at www.usda.gov/newfarmers.
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