The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications from agricultural, food, and forestry businesses to receive cost-share funding through its Agricultural Enterprise Fund (AEF) program.

AEF grants are awarded to agricultural businesses in Tennessee that demonstrate a potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity, or agricultural innovation. The program prioritizes businesses located in or adjacent to economically at-risk or distressed counties.

“The strategic investments made from the AEF program have shown to create a $17.55 economic impact from every dollar we put in,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Ag and forestry businesses that are starting out or investing in their growth are ideal applicants for the program. We want to help strengthen those businesses to support cumulative economic improvements in the communities they serve.”

The application for the AEF program can be found online at agriculture.tn.gov/AEF/AEF_Application/Create, and the deadline to apply is July 15, 2022. Businesses must include proof of financing and a business plan with their application for it to be considered.

Since 2017, the Agricultural Enterprise Fund has awarded nearly $7 million in funding, leading to more than $98 million in private investments from agriculture and forest-product business development. You will find more information about the Tennessee Agricultural Enterprise Fund at www.tn.gov/agriculture/businesses/aef.html or by emailing Will Freeman at [email protected].

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