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New Options Offered with 2015 Agricultural Enhancement Program

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | 10:30am

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has set June 1 – 7 as the application period for the 2015 Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP).

TAEP is a cost-sharing program. Producers fulfill requirements to defray the costs of strategic investments in their operation. The goal is to increase profitability and efficiency while promoting long-term investments in Tennessee’s agriculture.

“TAEP doesn’t just help individual producers.  It also provides an economic boost to their communities,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “Governor Bill Haslam recognizes the importance of Ag Enhancement, and we are thankful for his support and the support of the Tennessee General Assembly in approving $21 million in funding for another year.”

Farmers can qualify for up to 50 percent cost share, with a maximum reimbursement of up to $15,000, depending on the project. Producers may apply online or submit an application by mail, which must be postmarked June 1 through June 7.

Program administrator Mark Powell points out that there are several notable changes this year. “As cattle producers work to grow Tennessee’s beef herd, we are pleased to offer a new bred beef heifer cost-share,” Powell said.

Other changes include:

  • Bull cost share program increased to $1,600 for eligible bulls with enhanced EPDs
  • Limit to 4 lifetime grain bin reimbursements
  • Reimbursement documents can be uploaded online
  • Eligibility rules simplified to one application per person per schedule F
     

Instructions for accessing TAEP Online accounts and applying for 2015 funds are listed at www.tn.gov/taep and outlined in the printed applications. Producers are to use Application A for Livestock Equipment, Working Facility Covers, Genetics, Hay, Grain and Feed Storage.

Producers with livestock on their farm must register their premises at www.tennessee.gov/agriculture/forms/tpissignup.pdf  or by calling 615-837-5120.

A separate Application B for Producer Diversification can be submitted online or mailed. Producer Diversification assists farmers with investments in agritourism, fruits and vegetables, honey bees, horticulture, organics and value-added products. Applications are competitively evaluated by industry sector.

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 TDA representative when completing the application.

For more information or for an application, call 1-800-342-8206 or visit www.TN.gov/taep.

About the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program—More than 5,000 producers received cost share approvals for FY14/15. More than $106 million has been invested in 37,087 producer projects since 2005. The University of Tennessee Agri-industry Modeling & Analysis Group estimates that each TAEP dollar generates an average of $3.89 in local economies.

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