State Cost Share Expanded to Include Milk Quality Equipment
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens announced that the cost share program for cattle genetic and handling facilities improvement has been expanded to include milk quality equipment for dairy producers.
The Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications from Tennessee dairy producers for 35 percent cost share, up to $850, for the purchase of equipment to improve milk quality.
“Dairying accounts for more than $175 million annually in farm income in Tennessee, and represents an important segment of our agricultural industry,” said Givens. “Today’s dairy producers face a variety of unique challenges. With this program, we want to help keep Tennessee dairy farms viable and operating to provide a healthy, wholesome supply of local milk for the future.”
Milk quality equipment eligible for cost share reimbursement includes:
- Hot water heaters
- Milk tanks
- Water sterilization equipment
- Plate exchangers for cooling milk
- Milk vacuum pumps
- Milker pulsation systems
- Vacuum system regulators
- Vacuum gauges
- Milk pipelines
To be eligible to participate in cost share funding, dairy producers must register their premises with the National Animal Identification System for safeguarding animal health. Producers can register their premises at most any local farm supply or service location.
Producers must also be certified through the Beef Quality Assurance program. Producers can learn more or sign up for the two-hour instructional course through county UT Extension offices.
To apply for cost share on milk improvement items, producers can get Cattle Improvement Initiative applications at local UT Extension, Farm Bureau and co-op locations, or download the application and an equipment check list at www.picktnproducts.org. Producers who have already applied and been approved for cost share assistance do not need to re-apply. However, a check list and receipts for eligible equipment must be turned in to the Department of Agriculture.
For more information about milk equipment eligibility or the application process for the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program, please contact cattle improvement coordinator Charles Hord at (615) 837-5304 or Cattle.Improvement@state.tn.us.