FARM Frequently Asked Questions
The FARM (Forestry, Agriculture, and Rural Markets) cost share program is a competitive grant program designed to provide cost share dollars and financial incentives for projects that strengthen and expand Tennessee agricultural and forestry supply chains in response to weaknesses revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is funded by the State of Tennessee’s allocation of American Rescue Plan funding through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.
The FARM cost share program will have three rounds of applications and awards. The first round of awards have been announced. For the second round, the application portal will be open from November 1, 2023 – November 30, 2023. Awards are scheduled to be announced in December 2023, and funding recipients will have 24 months to complete their projects and submit the appropriate documentation and information to receive their allocation in the form of a reimbursement. Information regarding the final round of funding will become available as the application period approaches.
No. A business will be limited to receiving funding in only one of the three rounds of awards.
Agricultural and forestry businesses who have current operations in Tennessee and are executing their proposed project within Tennessee will be eligible for consideration. Applicants must be able to provide a Tennessee mailing address related to their operations within the state. They must submit an application and the final decision of funding recipients will be determined after applications are reviewed and scored.
No. Colleges and universities are not eligible for the FARM cost share program.
Yes. Local governments and non-profits are eligible to apply for the FARM cost share program.
The FARM cost share program will cover 50% of costs for projects that impact counties that are not classified as economically distressed or at-risk. For projects impacting distressed or at-risk counties, the cost share rate will be 75%.
No. In-kind matching is not allowed.
Funding amounts will be determined following the evaluation of your application. The maximum amount of funding will be $1 million, and the minimum amount of funding will be $25,000.
Businesses that are eligible for both programs may receive funding in both, but the maximum funding amount that can be received across both programs is $1 million.
Funds will be made available on a reimbursement basis only.
To receive reimbursement, you must log in to the program's online portal, complete a request form with details about your project expenses, and provide all necessary supporting documentation for each expense.
Each funding recipient may only submit one reimbursement request. Reimbursement requests must be submitted at the completion of the project.
Projects must be complete within 24 months of your award date.
No, this is not required.
FARM cost share funding can be used for construction, materials, and installation services in addition to equipment purchases.
No. These expenses are not eligible for reimbursement with FARM cost share funding.
No. These expenses are not eligible for reimbursement with FARM cost share funding.
No. Feasibility studies are not eligible expenses for FARM cost share funding.
All reimbursed costs must be incurred subsequent to your date of award/date of fully executed contract. However, this expense could be considered your portion of the match. Please also keep in mind that the equipment purchase must have been acquired in accordance with relevant Federal, Local, and State procurement standards.
No. All reimbursed costs must be incurred subsequent to your date of award/date of fully executed contract.
Yes, this is allowable.
No. ARPA Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars generally may not be used for a non-federal match with other federal funding sources. Exceptions listed in the federal guidance do not apply to this program.
Yes. Administrative costs are eligible up to 5% of your project value.
No, FARM funds may not be used for the purchase or lease of real property.
No, due to the time-limited nature of this program and funding source, FARM funds may not be used for equipment lease payments.
Raw materials may be allowable only if they are being used for a purpose that creates a sustainable long-term impact on Tennessee’s food and fiber supply chains. However, the purchase of additional raw materials to simply support the normal day to day operations of your business will not be eligible.
No, all project expenses must be incurred on or after the award date/grant contract execution date.
Application Frequently Asked Questions
The application form will be available through an online portal that will go live on November 1, 2023.
Round 1 of funding is now closed. For round 2 of applications, the portal will be open from November 1 – November 30, 2023 at 5 p.m. CST. Detailed information about the timing for round 3 will be made available as the application period approaches.
No. Applications must be submitted on time to be considered.
Applicants will be required to provide general information about their business, narrative information stating how the pandemic affected the business, and a detailed project plan for the proposed project.
Applications will be scored based on the following criteria:
1. County of origin
2. Percentage increase of operation
3. Impact on Tennessee's food and fiber supply chain
4. Project readiness
5. Collaboration with industry and community partners
No. Applications will be evaluated at the close of the application period without considering the time and date within the application window that the application was submitted. The timing of the application will not affect application score.
Awards for round 2 of funding will be announced in December of 2023.
Yes, but an entity may not be awarded more than once.
Applicants will only be granted a FARM award for one project, therefore we suggest that applicants identify and apply for their highest priority project that they believe will be most competitive for this program. Applicants can apply in later rounds of funding with different project ideas if they are not awarded funding with their initial application.
American Rescue Plan Frequently Asked Questions
Businesses that receive funding through the FARM cost share program are considered subrecipients of American Rescue Plan funding. As subrecipients, grantees must comply with the requirements of the Uniform Guidance for Federal Awards (2 C.F.R. 200). These requirements include (but are not limited to):
- Procurement Requirements
- Asset Disposition and Management Requirements
- Audit Requirements
- Subrecipient Risk Assessment
Uniform Guidance may be found here: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-2/subtitle-A/chapter-II/part-200.
Subrecipients are required to follow a procurement process that is as stringent, if not more stringent, than the federal procurement requirements contained in the Uniform Guidance. In some cases, that may require purchases of eligible goods and services to be procured through a competitive bidding process, depending on the circumstances.
Micro-purchases under $10,000 do not require formal bids. Purchases between $10,000 and $250,000 will require 3 quotes and documentation about why that vendor was selected. For purchases greater than $250,000, a formal procurement process is required, using either sealed bids or proposals. Please see § 2 CFR 200.320 for more information about methods of procurement.
§ 2 CFR 200.501 audit requirements state that a non-Federal entity that expends $750,000 or more during the non-Federal entity's fiscal year in Federal awards must have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year.
Recipients of FARM cost share funding will be required to have a Unique Identifying Number (UEI) from SAM.gov. However, they are not required to go through the business registration process with SAM.gov. Step by step instructions for getting a UEI are located at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uv1YNAsINk.
100% of project costs must comply with program and federal guidance, including ARP and Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) requirements, except for guidance related to encumbrances on asset titles. It is allowable for assets purchased with the awardee’s cost share funds (not the TUFF funds) to be encumbered.
Equipment Frequently Asked Questions
“Equipment” is any article of nonexpendable, tangible, personal property having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds five thousand dollars ($5,000).
Title vests with the entity that acquired the equipment.
The title must be a conditional title. In addition, the title may not be encumbered – entities may not borrow money against the equipment or use it as collateral.
Yes. Entities must meet the following requirements, at a minimum:
- Records must be maintained that include a description of the equipment, a serial number or other identification number, the source of funding for the equipment, who holds title, the acquisition date and cost of the equipment, percentage of ARPA participation in the project costs (50% or 75%), the location, use and condition of the equipment, and any ultimate disposition data including the date of disposal and sale price of the asset.
- A physical inventory of the equipment must be taken, and the results must be reconciled with the property records at least once every two years.
- A control system must be developed to ensure adequate safeguards to prevent loss, damage, or theft of the equipment. Any loss, damage, or theft must be investigated.
- Adequate maintenance procedures must be developed to keep the equipment in good condition.
- If an entity is required to sell the equipment, proper sales procedures must be established to ensure the highest possible return.
- Entities must provide the equivalent insurance coverage for equipment acquired or improved with ARPA funds as provided to other equipment owned by the entity.
An entity may only use the equipment for the authorized purposes of the FARM program (i.e., to address supply chain weaknesses exposed or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic) during the period of performance, or until the equipment is no longer needed for the purposes of the program.
When no longer needed for the FARM program, the equipment may be used in other activities supported by federal grant funds. Priority must be given to using the equipment for activities funded by ARPA grant funds before using the equipment for other federal grants.
When equipment is no longer needed for the FARM program or any other federal grant, entities must follow equipment disposition procedures and contact TDA.
If an item of equipment has a per unit fair market value of $5,000 or less, an entity may retain, sell, or otherwise dispose of the item without repaying any grant funds to TDA.
If an item of equipment has a per unit fair market value in excess of $5,000, an entity may elect to retain or sell the asset. In cases where an entity retains an asset, the entity must repay TDA the current market value of the asset multiplied by the ARPA cost share (either 50% or 75%). In cases where an entity sells the asset, the entity must repay TDA the sale proceeds multiplied the ARPA cost share and may deduct and retain from this amount $500 or ten percent of the proceeds, whichever is less, for its selling and handling expenses.
Equipment must stay within the state of Tennessee until proper disposition has occurred.