Who is a Value-Added Products Producer?

For the purposes of TAEP, an eligible Value-Added business produces products for sale that use raw foods or fibers produced by their agricultural operation. Applicants must use agricultural products that have been grown on their farm as primary source of the value-added product.

Businesses within the value-added sector include a variety of products such as cheese, clothing, crafts, farm-fresh meats, ice cream, jams, jellies, relishes, salsa, wine, and more.

Consumer & Industry Services Requirements

• Applicants producing processed foods, meats, dairy, and related products must be licensed and inspected by the State of Tennessee as a food manufacturing facility if applicable.
• Farm based retail sale of meat requires a Retail Meat Sales Permit and an inspection by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture prior to reimbursement.
• Contact the TDA Consumer and Industry Services Division at 615-837-5150 for more information on state regulations.

Value-Added Products Producer Cost Share Opportunities

Standard Producer – 35% Cost Share - $12,000 Reimbursement Maximum

All approved applicants with Value-Added Products projects are eligible for 35% cost share. There are no special requirements for 35% cost share.

Master Producer – 50% Cost Share - $12,000 Reimbursement Maximum

To be eligible for 50% cost share, applicant must complete special requirements prior to the program reimbursement request deadline of August 1, 2024. The name registered for the special requirement must be the same name as the individual applying for cost share funding.

Special Requirements for 50% Cost Share

Value-Added Special Requirements – applicant must complete one of the following options to qualify for 50%

Option #1: Value-Added educational courses (2) – applicant must attend two eligible events; see special requirements list

Option #2: UT Master Farm Manager, UT Master Farm Family Health & Wellness, or TSU New Farmer Academy

• Applicant must have participated in special requirements from 2020-2024.

• The name registered for the special requirement must be the same name as the individual applying for cost share funding.

• The Producer Diversification Special Requirements List will be updated when new courses are added.

What Value-Added Products Projects Qualify for TAEP? 

The proposed activity/project must encompass quality expansion or improvement of the applicant’s farm and business. The eligible categories are: farm infrastructure, specialty equipment and marketing.

Competitive Projects – Value-Added Products:
• Priority is given to long-term projects that focus on improving or increasing production.
Producers that are producing 100% of the raw food or fiber product(s) to be used in their value-added enterprise are given priority over off-farm sourcing of raw product.
• Marketing projects that are long-term in nature are allowed but are not considered as competitive as those involving production.
• Only complete applications that include sufficient information will be considered for evaluation.

Approved applicants will receive a revised budget with reimbursement documentation. The revised budget indicates approved items per committee review, cost share allocation amount, and status of special requirement participation. All committee decisions are final.

• Not all eligible items are listed; please contact the Producer Diversification Coordinator for project eligibility or clarification prior to applying for TAEP cost share.
• All eligible items requested may not be approved due to the competitive evaluation of the program.
• To ensure long-term investments, items requested must be able to meet the five (5) year verification period to be considered for cost share.

* Include dimensions and designs with project proposal.

Cold storage*
E- Commerce development
•    Walk-in
•    Chest
Hand washing areas* – for food safety
Loading dock*
Packaging equipment

Processing areas*
Processing equipment
Retail shelter*
Website development – no fees
Wine making equipment

Alcohol production equipment
Building – storage
Clearing land
Containers – bottles, pots, packaging
Driveways, trails, paths, roads, etc.
Electrical consumption
Fees – membership
Giveaway items
Golf cart
Hemp projects
Items for resale
Kitchen utensils

Labor – applicant
Maintenance of existing structures, equipment, items
Motorized vehicles – ATV, forklift, tractor
Office equipment
Product development
Property – purchase or debt payment
Renovations – of existing structures
Store – general
Trailers – livestock
Used equipment
Water source creation – ponds/wells
Website – annual, domain, or hosting fees

Email for additional information.