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Utah State Awarded $750,000 To Train Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

November 1, 2010

[Source: Utah State University Extension]

LOGAN, UT – Utah State University’s College of Agriculture and Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences was recently awarded $748,109 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to train Utah beginning beef farmers and ranchers to run profitable, sustainable farms and ranches.

According to Kerry Rood, USU Cooperative Extension veterinarian and project leader, there is disconnect between beginning ranchers and profitability. When their operations are not profitable, sustainability suffers.

“I am very excited about this opportunity as it impacts the future of Utah agriculture,” said Rood. “If we are unable to figure out how to transition profitable farms and ranches to younger generations, the sustainability of Utah agriculture is jeopardized.”

Rood said the program will use the nationally recognized Beehive Master Beef Manager program as a model to educate and demonstrate best management practices to beginning livestock producers. In addition, beginning ranchers will be exposed to new technologies in genetics to demonstrate the impact from proper animal selection on sustainability.

Because the vast majority of grazing land in Utah is public, Rood said the final component of the project partners with the Utah Department of Agriculture’s Grazing Improvement program to educate and demonstrate how land stewardship and proper use of land resources can improve the bottom line for beginning ranchers.

“We are extremely pleased to contribute to the success of farmers and ranchers in Utah. This grant allows our faculty to distribute targeted information that will make a difference in livestock operations,” said Noelle E. Cockett, vice president and dean for USU Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture.

USDA’s NIFA awarded the grant through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program, an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help U.S. farmers and ranchers, specifically those who have been farming or ranching for 10 years or less. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program will provide up to $18 million in funding this year. This is the second year of the program, and $18 million will be made available in fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

“Beginning farmers and ranchers are an important part of American agriculture, as they play a big role in feeding people in their local communities and throughout the world,” said Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “However, they face unique challenges, and this grant will provide the training needed to ensure that these producers become profitable and sustainable.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2010 7:38 pm

    At our dairy we are going to build Geo Thermal greenhouses, could you please help me find some grants or funding

    Midway, Utah

    • February 11, 2011 9:02 pm

      Check with the extension service in Utah for suggestions on funding geothermal greenhouses.

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