LOGAN -- Students interested in beef farming and ranching will get help from a $750,000 grant to Utah State University.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded the $748,109 grant to the university's College of Agriculture and Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences. The money will be used to help train beginning beef farmers and ranchers on how to run profitable and sustainable farms and ranches.
The grant is designed to help people who have been farming or ranching for 10 years or less.
The program will use the nationally recognized Beehive Master Beef Manager program as a model to educate and demonstrate best management practices.
The program also introduced new technologies in genetics to demonstrate what the impact for sustainability is for proper animal selection.
This year, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program will provide up to $18 million in funding. This is the program's second year, and $18 million will be made available for the 2011 and 2012 fiscal year.
USU officials said there is currently a disconnect between sustainability and profitability. When operations are not profitable, sustainability suffers.
Teaching profitable practices for farms and ranches to younger generations is important to maintain the sustainability of Utah agriculture.
The program will also partner with Utah Department of Agriculture's Grazing Improvement Program to show how proper land stewardship and land resources can increase profitability for beginning ranchers. This is important because much of grazing in Utah is done on public lands.