Shane James of Henderson County has participated in the Cattle Genetics, Livestock Equipment, and Hay Storage programs.
"I am really proud of my hay barn. I could not have built it without TAEP cost share assistance."
"The improvements I made to my working equipment with TAEP Livestock Equipment cost share funds allow me to work my cows by myself in less time and more safely."
Ray and Jamie Weaver in Coffee County have participated in the Genetics, Livestock Equipment, Hay and Grain Storage, and Producer Diversification programs.
"This is a great program for Tennessee’s farmers that also benefits local economies!" Participation in TAEP has allowed us to improve the safety and efficiency of our entire operation. "
Larry Paul Harris
Larry Paul Harris in Henderson County has participated in the Livestock Equipment, Hay and Grain Storage Programs.
“TAEP is a great supplement to any active farming operation. The cost share funds provide farmers with an incentive to make improvements.”
Bob Willis from Coffee County participates in the Grain Storage programs.
“TAEP is a good program, the cost share assistance makes upgrading equipment more feasible.”
Robert Wilson in White County has participated in the Genetics, Livestock Equipment and Hay Storage programs.
"TAEP has really helped out a lot. I have seen a 70-100 lb. increase in my weaning weights since participating in TAEP. I have improved my genetics and increased efficiency and safety with my Hay Storage and Equipment projects."
"I have good things to say about TAEP! This is a great program that helps Tennessee's farmers."
Suzanne Pagel in Marshall County participated in the Producer Diversification program. Suzanne is impressed with the idea that there is help available for farmers seeking to grow and diversify their operations.
"TAEP cost share assistance allowed me to build my greenhouse and set up an aquaponics system. My goal is to use this system to produce two products to be marketed locally - vegetables and fish. It is exciting to know that farmers have the support of TAEP."
Bryant Brothers Farms
"TAEP is helping Tennessee's farmers!"
Buddy Bryant of Bryant Brothers Farms in Robertson County went on to say that "Our grain bins allow us to get in the fields earlier and they give us a marketing edge when it comes to deciding when to sell our grain. These bins would not be sitting here without cost share assistance from TAEP."
Sammy Pruitt from Henderson County has participated in the Cattle Genetics, Livestock Equipment and Hay Storage programs.
"My Hay Barn has definitely had a positive impact on maintaining the quality of my hay. I am feeding less hay with better results than I was when my hay was stored outside. I really appreciate the TAEP cost share funds."
Joey Chessor of Grinders Switch Winery in Hickman County says that "TAEP cost share funds have allowed us to expand and improve our business."
"We have been able to purchase tanks, vine stock and complete our finishing room." Joey went on to say that "The dollars saved on projects using TAEP cost share funds have been invested directly back into the winery."
Nick Korn, Rolling K Farms, in Haywood County says that "Safety is the big thing!"
"Cost share funds provided by TAEP through the Livestock Equipment Program have made a difference in my cattle operation. My wife and I are able to work our cattle by ourselves in a safe and efficient manner. It is especially 'super handy' when it comes to working our bulls."
Ernie Jones, E & E Dairy, in Lawrence County has participated in the Livestock Equipment, Cattle Genetics, Feed Storage and Hay Storage Programs.
"TAEP cost share funds allow us to feed more efficiently using our mixer wagon and concrete bunk feeders. Proper hay storage saves the nutrient value of the hay we feed our cows which translates into better milk production." Ernie also says that "The equipment program has definitely improved efficiency and safety when it comes to working the cattle. We would not have been able to make all of these purchases without the cost share funds made possible through TAEP. We are grateful for every dollar!"
Jeffery Wood from Warren County says "this working equipment is some of the best money a person can spend on the farm. My new equipment allows me to work cattle efficiently and makes the job a lot safer."
Jeffery also feels that the educational requirements for participation in TAEP are a positive. "I learned a lot from both the Beef Quality Assurance certification and Master Beef classes. TAEP is a great program that is helping farmers improve their operations."
Michael Wells from Coffee County participates in the Grain Storage Program.
“TAEP cost share funds help farmers make much needed improvements to their operations and at the same time helps local economies. This is a good program."
Tyrone Ridley of Rutherford County is excited about his hay barn.
Tyrone says "I couldn't do without this hay barn and I couldn't have put it up without TAEP. I am looking forward to participating in other TAEP programs in the future. This is a good program for Tennessee's farmers."
Dan and Debbie Eiser
"TAEP saved our 2009 blueberry crop."
In 2007 we lost our entire crop to a severe Spring frost. After that we applied for and received a TAEP grant to improve our irrigation capability, allowing us to cope with droughts and freeze events. The enhanced irrigation capability helped us last year during very dry conditions, and most recently helped protect our crop against freeze damage. Using our irrigation system we were able to apply water to open blueberry blossoms encapsulating them with a thick coating of ice that protected the blossoms from freeze damage. We are a small family farm and TAEP is helping us to hold our own in a challenging economy.
Harold Nunnery of the Flatwoods community of Benton County was among the first in his area to apply for the state cost share funds and installed a system composed of a Big Valley 20-foot adjustable crowd alley and eight 10-foot corral panels manufactured at the Behlen Country plant in nearby Huntingdon.
He also added Co-op creep-feeding and heavy-duty corral panels, which are made in LaVergne at TFC's headquarters. Nunnery points to the safety and convenience of the new system as creating the biggest improvement in his 325-acre 70-cow operation. ''When I heard about the state program, I had been seriously considering buying some new working equipment and was looking around for a good deal'', says Nunnery, who had been previously using mostly 'homemade' equipment. ''I figured that the 35 percent cost share was really like getting a 35 percent discount, so I decided to stop looking around any more. I'm glad I did.''
Mike and Kathy Bradley
Mike and Kathy Bradley of Bradley Acres, who purchased an irrigation system, fertilizer injector, digital scales and a fruit and vegetable sprayer, say ''The help we got enabled us to increase our acres.
"We have 20 acres of pumpkins this year, and we couldn't have done that without our new equipment. The added production allows us to satisfy our customers' needs so that we can grow our business.''
A new Powder River squeeze chute is now holding cattle for Rick Hunley of LaFollette, and the high school math teacher doubts he would have been able to purchase the equipment--and a new bull from Gamble Angus in Clinton--for his 40-cow operation without the TAEP assistance.
''I never thought I would be in a position to afford a nice set of livestock equipment,'' says the Claiborne County cattleman. ''The program has allowed me to improve my operation and will hopefully do the same for many other Tennessee producers.'' Hunley says the initiative is a step in the right direction for cattle producers statewide. ''This program is enabling smaller producers like me to venture out and buy good bulls,'' says Hunley. ''For our calves to be competitive in the [national] markets, we have got to continue to improve our genetics, our herd management, and our basic knowledge of the beef industry. I think this cattle initiative is a good start. It's a proactive, positive step.''
David Black of Oakes Daylilies, who purchased new farm festival equipment, says ''Everything we can do to make people more comfortable in the heat keeps them here another couple of hours, and the longer they stay, the better off we are.
We're already seeing big benefits for these cost share purchases. We hope we'll be able to continue to diversify the farm and expand the business enough that we can pass the farm onto future generations.''
Jeff Alsup of Honeysuckle Hill, who purchased a pavilion, marketing materials, deep irrigation and airblast sprayer, says ''TAEP allowed us to build the pavilion and add a classroom to our site. "
"We immediately increased our profits because we no longer have cancelations due to rain. Plus, we've been able to add whole new categories of activities, like our bluegrass festival. Using the TAEP cost share program is the best thing we've ever done.''
Finding and adapting to a niche market is one of the ways Dave Whitaker of Lascasses plans to keep his farming operation successful.
Participating in the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program is helping him work toward that goal. Dave says that "The sheep handling equipment purchased with TAEP cost share funds has been a life saver. We can work the sheep more efficiently and it is less stressful for them with this setup." Participation in TAEP also allowed Dave to build a hay barn that will work for the future as he expands his operation. "Without TAEP I would have had to build a smaller barn. This is an awesome program."
Fred Adams of Readyville is proud and excited about the projects he has been able to complete by participating in TAEP.
"I would not have built my commodity shed and hay barn without TAEP cost share funds. I have also been able to set up permanent cattle handling facilities that will make working my cattle faster safer and much more efficient. I am proud and excited about the improvements that I have been able to make to my operation because of TAEP."
Like many other participants in the program, Stanley Scott of Culleoka viewed the program as an incentive to make improvements he'd already been planning for his 200-acre, 70-mama-cow beef operation.
''It definitely motivated me to upgrade my facilities,'' admits Scott, a lineman for Duck River Electric Membership Corporation. ''I'm so glad that I took this step.'' Utilizing the program, Scott bought a WW sweep tub and panels and a squeeze chute and constructed a holding pen. He also floored the area with three 20-ton loads of crushed rock spread over a geo-textile liner to prevent settling. Stanley says the system makes working an average-sized herd of cattle a one-man job, in most cases. ''If I can get a cow to the barn lot, she's mine,'' says Scott. ''The system is set up in a way that is not only safe and stress-free for the cattle but for the farmer as well. It's the difference between getting hurt or not.''