Resources for Farmers & Agribusinesses
Agriculture and agribusinesses have been a mainstay of the Tennessee economy and way of life. The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program can assist agribusinesses with many aspects of compliance with environmental rules and regulations. However, there are a large number of additional agencies, programs, and organizations that can assist agribusinesses and agriculturists. Services provided include loans, disaster relief, education, training, marketing, supplies, and conservation resources. Below are links to that either go to a web page devoted to links to various programs within a specific assistance provider, or go directly to the web page of that assistance provider.
Additional Information Provided in Tabs
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Farm Service Agency (see more information in the tab provided): The Farm Service Agency offers loans and incentive programs to help farmers build or maintain their farms and also disaster relief programs/loans for times of severe need.
- UT Ag Extension: Education, training and information provided by extension agents in each county of the state.
- TN Department of Agriculture (TDOA): Puts the puzzle together for producers/agribusiness to assist with new set up, expansion, or business development.
- Tennessee Farm Bureau: Tennessee Farm Bureau is a membership organization led by farmer members for the purpose of providing the best business climate to farm and/or conduct agribusiness in the state.
- Tennessee Farmers Cooperative: Input supplies and services.
- USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS): NRCS is an agency committed to “helping people help the land”—our mission is to provide resources to farmers and landowners to aid them with conservation. Make agriculture sustainable by utilizing conservation Best Management Practices.
- Pick TN Products: Pick TN Products connects Tennessee producers with educational, marketing, businesses and funding resources.
- Sustainability Resources for Industry: Sustainability information from TDEC's Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices. While focused on industry, there are also resources here that can be useful to Agribusinesses.
- TN Chamber of Commerce: The Tennessee Chamber serves as the primary voice of diverse business and manufacturing trade interests on major employment and economic issues facing public policy decision-makers in Tennessee. They cover environmental/sustainable practices, economic development, labor laws, education/workforce development, transportation, taxation, workplace safety, workers compensation and trade issues plus much more.
Tennessee Farm Bureau
The Tennessee Farm Bureau began as an organization lobbying for the betterment of our members. It is responsible for most of the positive agricultural and rural legislation we have today, as well as preventing some negative legislation from passing. Tennessee Farm Bureau continues to work closely with legislators in Nashville and Washington, D.C. today. Tennessee Farm Bureau membership supports the Public Policy Division that works to provide help for members in areas such as private property rights, taxation, regulations and other legislative issues facing our membership.
Tennessee Farmer's Cooperative (Co-Op)
The Tennessee Farmer's Co-op is a farmer-member owned farm supply cooperative with retail store and facilities located throughout Tennessee. The Co-op is made up of roughly 70,000 farmers who are member-owners of the local Co-ops in their home counties.
TN Department of Agriculture Resources
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDOA) serves the citizens of TN by providing options for responsible use of our agricultural and forest resources, developing economic opportunities, safeguarding food and fiber, and ensuring equity in the marketplace. TDOA accomplishes this through five key priorities: Agricultural Economic Development, Workforce Development, Education, and Collaboration, Natural Resources Stewardship and Farm Preservation, Healthy Living, and Effective and Efficient Government.
Beginning Farmer Resources
- New Farmers Website
- Rural Development Value Added Producer Grants
- Farm Service Agency Beginning Farmer Loans
- Farm Service Agency Land Transition Incentive Program
- Agriculture Marketing Service National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
- Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
- Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program
- Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Stewardship Program
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Agency
University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension agency helps Tennesseans to improve their quality of life and solve problems through the application of research and evidenced-based knowledge about agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and community development. It provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. It is a statewide educational organization, funded by federal, state and local governments, that brings research-based information about agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and resource development to the people of Tennessee where they live and work.
- 4-H Youth Development
- Agriculture and Resource Economics
- Animal Science
- Beef and Forage Center
- Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science
- Entomology and Plant Pathology
- Extension Evaluation and Staff Development
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Food Science
- Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries
- Information Technology Services
- Plant Sciences
- Center for Profitable Agriculture, CPA
- Soil, Plant and Pest Center
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Links
The USDA Farm Services Agency (FSA) supports productive farms and ranches; affordable food, fiber, and fuel; and conservation of our natural resources. In Tennessee the FSA delivers farm loans, farm programs, conservation incentives, price supports, and disaster assistance in 59 county offices and 8 farm loan teams across the state.
- Conservation Website
- Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)
- Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
- Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
- Emergency Conservation Program (ECP)
- Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP)
- Farmable Wetlands Program (FWP)
- Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)
- Source Water Protection Program (SWPP)
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Tennessee branch of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) uses natural resources conservation programs to help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters. Public benefits include enhanced natural resources that help sustain agricultural productivity and environmental quality while supporting continued economic development, recreation, and scenic beauty.