The Texas Department of Agriculture is continuing to accept applications for grants from the Young Farmer Grant Program.

Grants from the YFG program are for individuals between 18 to 45 years old who wish to start or expand their own agricultural business in Texas.

To be granted funds, the applicant must be able to make dollar-for-dollar matching expenditures to sustain, create or expand their proposed project.  Grants range from $5,000 to $10,000.  The Young Farmer Grant Program is made possible by Texas farmers and ranchers who fund the Texas Agricultural Finance Authority. The deadline to apply for these grants is Friday, September 2.

According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the average age of Texas farmers is 59, with only 6 percent of the state’s farm operators under 35.

“Attracting the younger generation into domestic food and fiber production is vital for any Texan who does not want to be dependent on foreign food like we are on foreign oil,” Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said. “For more than a decade Texas farmers have funded a financing authority to assist our state’s young farmers. The Young Farmer Grant Program provides a way for young farmers to offset financial challenges that often deter them from working in agriculture. Additionally, these grants will help fill the boots of an older generation of food and fiber providers who are nearing retirement.”

Applications are available by clicking here or by calling 1-(877)-428-7848.