Agricultural Enterprise Fund Accepting New Applications

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 | 03:30pm
Agricultural Enterprise Fund

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications from agricultural, food, and forestry businesses to receive cost-share funding through its Agricultural Enterprise Fund (AEF) program.

The program supports Governor Lee’s and TDA’s priorities for rural counties. Grants are awarded to starting or expanding businesses in Tennessee that demonstrate a strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity, or agricultural innovation.

“The AEF program has awarded more than $8 million to agricultural, food, and forestry businesses and nonprofits since 2017,” Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Innovative agricultural projects and those that positively impact local farm income or increase access to markets are targets for the program. Projects that take place in economically at-risk or distressed counties will be given priority.”

The application for the AEF program can be found online at, and the deadline to apply is July 10, 2023. Businesses must include proof of financing and a business plan with their application for it to be considered.  

In total, the Agricultural Enterprise Fund has awarded more than $8.4 million in funding to Tennessee businesses, leading to more than $122 million in private investments from agriculture and forest-product business development since the program’s launch in 2017. You will find more information about the Tennessee Agricultural Enterprise Fund at or by emailing Rachel Sullivan at