USDA grants available for minority farmers

The United States Department of Agriculture is making more than $1 million available to small minority producers in an effort to assist with the establishment of farming operations.

According to a recent statement released by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Individual grants of up to $200,000 are available through the Small Minority Producer Grant Program and will be awarded to minority cooperatives or minority associations of cooperatives whose governing board and/or membership is comprised of at least 75 percent minority members.

“These funds are part of the USDA’s efforts to assist small minority producers to establish successful farming operations,” Johanns said. “By partnering with minority cooperatives to provide technical assistance to these producers, we can help foster additional job and economic opportunities in rural America.”

The list of eligible producers includes farmers, ranchers, loggers, agricultural harvesters and commercial fisherman.

Grant applications must be postmarked no later than July 28 and are available at or by contacting the USDA Rural Development Office in Montpelier, Vt., 802-828-6080. – TRACIE STONE

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