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Ag Enhancement Program Application Period Almost Here

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 | 07:50am

- Farmers Encouraged to Apply for TAEP Funding -

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program application period is almost here. 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. Producers who have not previously participated in TAEP are especially encouraged to apply.

“Governor Haslam proposed, and we are pleased the General Assembly has approved full funding for the Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “We’re trying to extend the program to reach more farmers and fund more priority projects. So if you haven’t participated before, this year is your chance.”

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.

Dairy and cattle producers will need a current BQA number at the date of application. Producers with livestock on their farm will need to register their premises with TDA at http://www.tennessee.gov/agriculture/forms/tpissignup.pdf or by calling 615-837-5120.

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.

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