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Agriculture Enterprise Fund Recipients Announced

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | 09:18am

NASHVILLE – Ten 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 Deputy Commissioner Tom Womack and Economic and Community Development Assistant Commissioner Amy New joined local, state, and business leaders in Adams, Tenn. to announce the third group of recipients of funding through the new program. This year’s total funding currently adds up to more than $923,000 of the $1 million set aside for the AEF.

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 development by facilitating agricultural development in Tennessee. It provides assistance to new and expanding Tennessee agriculture and food businesses, particularly in rural counties.

“The first year of the Agriculture Enterprise Fund has been extremely successful, and we look forward to seeing the economic benefits in the recipients’ communities,” Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “From Shelby County to Johnson County, from sawmills to mold detection technology, the Agriculture Enterprise Fund has strengthened Tennessee’s number one industry in the places that need it most.”

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.

“Creating a business-friendly environment that promotes economic growth, especially in our rural communities, is one of our state’s main goals,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “With the assistance of the Agriculture Enterprise Fund, the communities selected to receive these grants will be given the tools they need to succeed in Tennessee and will be better equipped for economic and agricultural development.”

AEF grant recipients and projects announced today include:
• Adams Innovation, Grainger County – beta testing mold detection technology on farms
• Dorsett Processing, Gibson County – expanding a meat processing facility
• East TN Wood Products, Blount County – expanding business to produce headings for bourbon barrels used in Scotland
• Melon Pride, Robertson County – diversifying crops
• Mooresburg Forest Products, Hawkins County – expanding a pulpwood processing facility
• Silver Bait and Willow Oaks Farm, Grundy County – extending 3 phase power to a worm farm and poultry farm
• Stone Mountain Mulch, Hawkins County – expanding a hardwood and pine bark processing facility
• Sweetwater Valley Farm, Loudon County – creating a renewable energy source from waste
• TMS Family Farms, Macon County – adding a commercial kitchen

“It is a great honor for our small family business to be awarded this grant,” Mark Dixon of East TN Wood Products said. “We are excited to be able to expand and further our company with the assistance of the AEF. Our goal is to put the funding to good use for East TN Wood Products, our community, and the state.”

You will find more information about the Tennessee Agriculture Enterprise Fund by clicking here, or by emailing Laura Vaught at laura.vaught@tn.gov.