NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden says the U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing more than $18 million in grants to help young farmers.

She says more than 15 percent of the grants support veterans farming, while about half focus on socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Harden announced the grants Monday at Recirculating Farms Coalition in New Orleans.

A USDA news release says Recirculating Farms got a grant to develop training focused on soil-based production and aquaculture in New Orleans.

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program was created under the 2008 Farm Bill. It aims to provide workshops, training and technical help to people who have been farming or ranching for less than 10 years.

The deadline for the next round of grants is March 13.

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Online:

http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/bfrdp/bfrdp.html

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/02/0022.xml