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Deadline for Young Farmer Grant Program set for Sept. 7
AUSTIN -- In an ongoing effort to promote and sustain Texas as a powerhouse of agricultural productivity, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples announced grant awards to 16 young farmers and ranchers totaling $150,000. According to an Aug. 20 Texas Department of Agriculture press release, the program is entirely funded by farmers and involves no state tax revenue.
In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature approved the Texas Department of Agriculture’s proposal to establish the first-of-its-kind Young Farmer Grant Program. Each year, there are two rounds of awards. Applications are now being accepted for the next round of Young Farmer Grants. The deadline for applying is Friday, Sept. 7.
Awarded in amounts up to $10,000 each, the funds are available through the Young Farmer Grant Program to agricultural producers between the ages of 18 and 45 who will create or expand agricultural businesses in Texas. Eligible applicants must be able to make dollar-for-dollar matching expenditures to sustain, create, or enhance agricultural operations. Awards range from $5,000 to $10,000 and are funded by agricultural vehicle registration fees paid for by farmers.
“As today’s farmers and ranchers near retirement, we must find ways to support a younger generation that will be tasked with feeding a growing population,” Staples said. “According to USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture], the average age of Texas farmers and ranchers is 59, with only 6 percent of them under the age of 35.”
For information about the Young Farmer Grant Program, visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov.
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