Arkansas Business:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded nearly a half million dollars to an east Arkansas project aimed at supporting new farmers and ranchers.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $17.8 million for 37 projects on Wednesday as part of the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The USDA says the average age of the American farmer is 58 years old, so the agency recognizes the need to recruit the next generation of farmers.

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