A second major small farmer package from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this year includes research awards, technical assistance and marketing support for small and midsized farmers and ranchers.

The additional resources include $7 million in university research awards in support of small and midsized farmers and ranchers and $8.8 million in technical assistance for small, socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and Rural Cooperative Centers. Applications are being accepted through June 30, 2014. For more information about how to apply, visit the Rural Development website.

In addition, a marketing certification program for small and very small grass-fed beef operations is included, according to an agency news release. This new verification program, administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), allows eligible ranchers to differentiate themselves and communicate value to their consumers.

More information about the resources available to small and midsized farmers and ranchers is available on USDA’s Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources webpage