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Grants to help veterans become farmers

The federal government will provide more than $9 million to help veterans become farmers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday the availability of the grants.

The money is set aside to assist minority farmers and ranchers and military veterans who are new to farming and ranching.

USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced the grants, which were made possible through the 2014 farm bill.

The grants will be provided through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program.

"The future face of agriculture needs to be varied in experience, background and knowledge to meet the demand of the 21st century," Harden said in a news release. "The 2501 Program enables USDA to bring more farmers and ranchers into American agriculture by partnering with the institutions, land-grant universities and other organizations that work directly with these diverse communities."

According to the USDA, the 2501 Program has distributed more than $57 million to 188 partners since 2010.

The 2014 farm bill reauthorized the program and expanded it to include military veterans.

Applications for the grants will be accepted through Aug. 25 and must be submitted through www.grants.gov.

More information is available at: www.outreach.usda.gov/grants/index.htm

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