Market Development Division
Market Development works with Tennessee producers and agribusinesses to build rural economies, increasing farm income through diverse growth and development activities, from industry and producer focused incentives to consumer driven Web and social media promotions.
Market Development Agribusiness Development pursues new industries and expansions of existing businesses for communities across the state. TDA partners with agencies ranging from local governments and regional retail chains to USDA Rural Development, the Tennessee Valley Authority and national and international trade associations like the Southern United States Trade Association and the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Market Development specialists focus on specialty crops, processed foods, equine, viticulture, horticulture, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables and direct farm marketing. Tennessee producers and processors are connected to local and world markets through trade missions, where targeted buyers are brought to Tennessee to see products and forge business relationships with producers. All Market Development programs for the producer or agribusiness operator can be accessed online through www.PickTnProducts.org. Producers should use the online application to be listed on the site.
Grading and market news services help farmers strategically price, package and market their products. The toll-free Market News Hotline receives about 130,000 calls annually. Fruit and vegetable grading is provided thorough a joint program with USDA.
Grants from the Ag Tag Agricultural Development Fund also continue to be a major source of support for agriculture and forestry-related organizations and industry-initiated marketing programs. The Ag Tag generates significant funding each year for a variety of statewide agriculture and forestry organizations, including 4-H and FFA, and industry-initiated marketing programs.
Agricultural fairs attract 3 million visitors each year in Tennessee. Through Market Development, TDA helps fund agricultural fairs and livestock shows. With municipal and county officials, Market Development also promotes initiatives in the Farmland Legacy Program's Intergenerational Transfer and "Land Link" projects and the Land Trust of Tennessee push for conservation easements. TDA also provides permanent Tennessee Century Farm signs to registered landowners.