BURLINGTON, Vt. — The University of Vermont is going to be studying how health insurance and health care reforms are affecting the farm and ranch populations in the United States.

The grant _ from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Communities and Regional Development _ is part of a broader $14 million USDA effort to increase prosperity in rural parts of the country.

UVM Researcher Shoshanah Inwood says many farm families report the costs of health insurance and health care make it harder for them to grow their farm businesses.

The goals of the project include understanding how health care insurance policy influences farmers’ decisions to invest, expand and grow.