New Round of Agriculture Enterprise Fund Recipients Announced
NASHVILLE – Six more Tennessee businesses will now have the opportunity to grow and positively impact rural economies through grants provided by the Agriculture Enterprise Fund (AEF).
Today, Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton and Economic and Community Development Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brooxie Carlton joined local, state, and industry leaders in Jackson, Tenn. to announce the fifth round of recipients of funding through the program.
A product of the Governor’s Rural Task Force, the AEF is an incentive program that supports Governor Haslam’s priority of job creation and economic growth by facilitating agricultural development in Tennessee. It provides assistance to new and expanding Tennessee agriculture, forestry, and food businesses, particularly in rural counties.
“The Agriculture Enterprise Fund program has made an economic impact of more than $25 million for our state since we first began to award these grants one year ago,” Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “While we are proud of the successes so far, we are excited to see the continued opportunities and new jobs that will result from this program.”
Successful grant recipients must demonstrate a strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity, or agricultural innovation. Priority is given to businesses located in at-risk or distressed counties.
“Our department strives to grow Tennessee’s economy and create high quality, family wage jobs across the state,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “More than 40 percent of the jobs created in Tennessee are in our rural communities, and funding from the Rural Economic Opportunity Act allows us to work with agricultural businesses that are poised for growth. I look forward to seeing the success of these six businesses and the impact they will have on the state.”
AEF grant recipients and projects announced today include:
- Clark Lumber, Macon County – expanding production capacity
- Fayette Packing, Fayette County – adding a processing room
- Lost State Distilling, Sullivan County – creating a new distilling business that will use locally produced grain
- Nash Family Creamery, Bedford County – adding a creamery
- Shop Springs Creamery, Wilson County – adding a creamery
- Waverly Wood, Humphreys County – adding a pine scragg mill to produce pine lumber for pallet manufacturers
“The Agriculture Enterprise Fund grant will allow us to add valuable equipment to our new business, which will aid us in the production of ice cream,” Jeffrey and Elizabeth Turner of Shop Springs Creamery said. “We would encourage anyone who is interested in adding value to a product to learn more about the AEF program.”