Department of Agriculture Announces New Agribusiness Development Grant

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 | 8:55am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has announced a new agribusiness development grant, the Agriculture Enterprise Fund (AEF).

The AEF is an incentive program that supports Governor Haslam’s priority of job creation and economic development by facilitating agricultural development in Tennessee. It will provide assistance to new and expanding Tennessee agriculture and food businesses, particularly in rural counties.

The AEF is an idea that originated from the Governor’s Rural Task Force and will help meet the goal of eliminating distressed counties in Tennessee by 2025. It is administered by the Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Department of Economic and Community Development, a Rural Task Force partner.

The AEF will address key components of agricultural economic development including increasing on-farm income, improving farmers’ access to markets, increasing capacity of existing agribusinesses and agricultural innovation.

“The Agriculture Enterprise Fund has the capacity to serve a wide array of agribusinesses and farming operations in Tennessee,” Department of Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “There are many types of people and businesses who have the potential to benefit, ranging from a farmer who wants to add value and market their own product, to an established agribusiness that wishes to expand and serve more farmers, to a technological innovator who has the potential to change the agriculture industry. The program empowers Tennessee entrepreneurs and will be a significant part of our agribusiness development plan.”

The Department of Agriculture is accepting applications on a rolling basis and encourages interested applicants to apply soon. For more information, please visit the Agriculture Enterprise Fund webpage

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s mission is to serve the citizens of Tennessee by promoting wise uses of our agricultural and forest resources, developing economic opportunities and ensuring safe and dependable food and fiber. Find us online, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.