USDA commits $2.5 million to expand new farmer education
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that $2.5 million in grants is now available for projects to educate new and underserved farmers about more than 20 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency programs that can provide financial, disaster or technical assistance to the agricultural community.
The grants will be awarded to nonprofits and public higher education institutions that develop proposals to improve farmer education on topics such as financial training, value-added production, recordkeeping, property inheritance, and crop production practices.
"We want to partner with nonprofits, colleges and universities who share USDA's priority of helping more Americans enter farming as a profession, whether they are new or underserved farmers, returning Service members, minorities, women, and urban producers or those who sell their crops locally," said Harden.
USDA will conduct four evaluation periods to review applications, with the deadlines of Nov. 20, 2015, Jan. 22, 2015, Mar. 18, 2016, and May 27, 2016. Awards between $20,000 and $100,000 per applicant will be available. To learn more about the funding solicitation and the related Farm Service Agency programs, details can be found at www.grants.gov with the reference number USDA-FSA-CA-2015-001. For nonprofits and public institutions of higher education that are considering participation, an online informational session will be conducted on Sept. 28, 2015. Additional information is posted on the Web at www.fsa.usda.gov/outreach.
This funding builds on historic investments made in rural America over the past six years and supports programs enacted by the 2014 Farm Bill, which achieved meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has progressively implemented each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.