HANCOCK COUNTY — Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a new initiative that promises to establish new programs and services over the next two years to provide assistance to new farmers and ranchers.
Approximately $5.6 billion will be prioritized for the program, according to a news release issued by the USDA. As part of the program, a new web tool designed to connect new farmers with government resources is now available at usda.gov/newfarmers.
In the news release, U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden cited the aging population of America’s farmers as the reason for the new program. Data shows that almost 10 percent of U.S. farmland will change hands in the next five years, which is why the USDA is seeking to equip new farmers and ranchers with the required knowledge, the release said.