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State cost-share funding opens in October for local farmers

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The University of Tennessee Agricultural and Natural Resources team members, also known as Ag Extension agents, help farmers in all 95 counties with program applications such as the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP). TAEP is a cost-share reimbursement program available for row crop and livestock farmers to producers using organic methods or raising honeybees.

Agritourism, honeybees, organic products, livestock and equipment are just a handful of eligible programs for Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s state Agricultural Enhancement Program
(TAEP), cost-share program for producers.
The reimbursable grant program opens for applications to Tennessee farmers and growers Oct. 1-7, 2022.
Since the program’s inception 17 years ago, TAEP has provided a little more than $224 million in 74,619 projects statewide. It is estimated that every TAEP dollar generates $6.09 in local economies.
In Lake County, from Fiscal Year 2005-06 through 2020-21, 23 projects were funded through TAEP. Funding that has been offset from the program equals $173,362 in Lake County.
Eligible programs for TAEP funds include dairy farms, row crops, hay storage, beef, pork and poultry
production and permanent structures.
Beginning farmers are also eligible to participate in the program.
Tennessee farmers who are applying for cost-share assistance for the first time and have been farming fewer than ten years may be eligible for the Beginning Farmer option under Application A to improve their operation.
Producers may qualify for up to 50 percent cost share in a variety of programs. Application A covers livestock equipment, genetics, hay storage, herd health, livestock solutions, permanent working structures, dairy solutions, and row crop solutions.
The hay storage program is available this year, alternating with hay equipment as an eligible program every other year.
Application B is for farmers with investments in agritourism, fruits and vegetables, honeybees, Horticulture, organics, and value-added products.
Application C is for commercial poultry growers.
Approval notifications will be mailed mid-December.

“This program promotes investment in long-term improvements on Tennessee producer operations,” Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “The success of TAEP can be attributed to Tennessee’s agricultural families who are committed to sustaining and expanding their businesses. TDA’s support from legislators, industry partners, and Governor Lee have kept the program going strong,” Hatcher added.

Local producers are encouraged to reach out to their University of Tennessee Ag Extension Agent to start the application process.
Lake County Ag Extension Agent Bob Shumake may be reached at 731-253-6528 or [email protected].
Details about this year’s TAEP eligibility can also be found online at https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/farms/taep.html.

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