The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) announces the application dates for this year’s cost share program are Oct. 1-7. This year, there is a new option to the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) for citizens who are new to farming.
“Agriculture is the top industry in Tennessee,” Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said. “TAEP investments have been made in every county in the state and the impact goes beyond our farmers. Improvements and expansions in farming operations also boost our rural economic development efforts.”
TAEP has supported agricultural production projects through a cost share program for more than 15 years and has invested nearly $207 million in 68,748 producer projects.
“With support from legislative and industry partners and Governor Lee, more long-term investments are made on Tennessee farms,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Including those new to farming in TAEP sets them up for success.”
Tennessee farmers who are applying for cost share assistance for the first time and have been farming fewer than five 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. Producers should use Application A for livestock equipment, genetics, hay equipment, herd health, livestock solutions, permanent working structures, dairy solutions, and row crop solutions. The popular hay equipment program is available this year and will alternate with hay storage 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. Program purchases can be made starting Oct. 1, 2021 and must be completed by the program’s final reimbursement request deadline. Participants should make purchases and submit reimbursement requests in a timely manner to avoid processing delays.
TDA will conduct a free TAEP application and reimbursement guidelines for 2021-2022 webinar Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. CDT. Participants must register at this link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_c4XaEJnhQXentPcmQz1PIA
Producers are encouraged to work with their local extension agent or a TDA representative to complete the application. For more information about the program, visit www.TN.gov/taep and for applications, visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/farms/taep/applications.html or call 1-800-342-8206.