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Ohio State receives federal funds to help farmers

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Newer farmers can get help through programs supported by the USDA.
Newer farmers can get help through programs supported by the USDA.

Studies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show younger people are moving away from rural areas, leaving older individuals to tend to fields and farm equipment.

Many younger members of these communities are relocating to urban areas because of the economic opportunities they offer. However, the USDA is working to improve rural economies, which would give the next generation an incentive to stay.

Other youths may find it difficult to get around the difficulties of starting out as a farmer or rancher. However, the USDA is also presenting grants to institutions to help train aspiring producers on how to deal with adversity.

The department recently gave Ohio State University $740,096 to help in its training initiatives.

"Beginning farmers and ranchers face unique challenges, and these efforts will help provide the training needed to ensure these producers become profitable and sustainable," said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

Funds are being made available through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which is in its second year and has made $18 million available for efforts such as Ohio State's training initiative.

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