New Grant Nurturing Young Farmers In New Mexico
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $17.8-million in new grants Wednesday, to be used to develop a new generation of farmers and ranchers.
New Mexico State University in Las Cruces is one of 12 grantees slated to receive a sun belt grant. Their portion amounts to just under $600,000 dollars. The Institute of American Indian Arts will partner with the university to provide education, mentoring and one-on-one technical assistance to American Indian Pueblo beginning farmers.
The total bucket of funds is divided among 37 projects nationwide, and is part of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, directed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The program has issued grants each year since 2009 to develop and attract younger farmers.
The current U.S. census of farmers and ranchers reports the average age of the American farmer is 58.