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Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program Applications Now Available

Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 10:35am

- Farmers Encouraged to Apply for TAEP Funding -

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has released the 2012 application for the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program. Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered June 1 – 7. Do not postmark prior to June 1.

An important change for this year is that requests for funding will now be approved based on applicant determined priorities instead of on a first come, first serve basis.

“Governor Haslam recognizes the importance of the Ag Enhancement program and has again proposed full funding of the program,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “This year, we’re putting more emphasis on helping farmers make strategic investments by asking them to prioritize their farm projects. This will help us reach more farmers and help us to be more deliberate about which projects get funded.”

Through TAEP, farmers can qualify for 35 or 50 percent cost share, ranging from a maximum of $1,200 to $15,000 depending on the project. This year’s program will again offer cost sharing opportunities for genetics, livestock equipment, hay storage, feed storage, grain storage and producer diversification opportunities. In addition to the new approval process, other changes this year include:

Genetics - Cost share funds are now available for Goats/Sheep Genetics in addition to Cattle Genetics.
Hay Storage - Applicants can no longer receive funding for Hay Storage in two consecutive program years, and a maximum reimbursement amount per square foot has been established.
Producer Diversification – All industry sectors are now eligible for 50 percent cost share.

TAEP was established in 2005 and supported by the General Assembly to increase farm
income by helping farmers invest in better farming practices and by encouraging diversification and innovation. Nearly 27,000 farm projects have been funded since the program’s inception.

Applications are available at most farm agencies including USDA Farm Service Agency, UT Extension and Farm Bureau offices, as well as most farm supply stores. To ensure accuracy, producers are encouraged to work with their local extension agent or local TDA representative when completing the application.

Producers can get important messages and updates on the program by calling
1-800-342-8206. For more information or to download an application, visit www.TN.gov/taep.