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AEF Program Continues Supporting Tennessee Agriculture

Friday, December 13, 2019 | 02:20pm
Department of Agriculture Enterprise Fund Awards

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Department of Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. today announced 12 businesses supported by the Agriculture Enterprise Fund.

“The recipients of this ninth round of funding are investing more than $8 million in their Tennessee agriculture and forest-product businesses,” Governor Lee said. “Farmers and forest landowners throughout the state will benefit from these projects, and we’re proud to support them through the Agriculture Enterprise Fund.”

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.

Stony Creek Colors in Springfield, Tenn. will use the funds to increase production of sustainably produced plant-based dyes. “Thanks to the hard work of Tennessee farmers, we are producing traceable plant-based indigo for use in major denim mills around the world,” CEO and founder Sarah Bellos said. “AEF will assist us with our expansion project and provide farmers throughout the region with access to a growing market for natural colorants in denim, textiles, cosmetics, and food.”

AEF grant recipients and projects announced include:

  • Amber Falls Winery, Maury County – adding new packaging equipment
  • Beaty Lumber, Fentress County – adding a new loader to transport more logs
  • Colonial Roots, Greene County – expanding hemp extraction and drying facility
  • LB Processors, Cheatham County ­– expanding hemp extraction and drying facility
  •  Mountain Valley Vineyards, Sevier County – adding new bottling equipment
  • Plateau Sawmill, Fentress County – adding a new chipper and debarker
  • Rich Farms, Clay County – new organic laying hen operation
  • Stony Creek Colors, Robertson County – adding seed preparation equipment
  • The Wood Shed, McNairy County – new business producing custom-cut lumber
  • Traditions Logging, Grainger County – adding a new bulldozer
  • Tree Products, LLC, Scott County – expanding engineered wood flooring plant
  • Unaka Forest Products, Washington County – adding a new wood pallet machine

In total, AEF has awarded more than $3.3 million in funding to Tennessee businesses, leveraging nearly $53 million in agriculture and forest-product economic development.               

You will find more information about the Tennessee Agriculture Enterprise Fund at www.tn.gov/agriculture or by emailing Will Freeman at william.h.freeman@tn.gov.