Local Farmers Benefit From Cost-Share Program
By Ronnie Barron, UT Extension Director
- Grady PerryGrady Perry (L) of Pleasant View is one of many Cheatham County producers to take advantage of the Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program. Perry constructed a Hay Storage facility in 2010 with cost-share funds provided through the TAEP.Over the last 7 years numerous Cheatham County farmers have taken advantage of the TN Ag Enhancement Program (TAEP) of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. To date, the program has provided nearly $300,000 in cost-share funds for Cheatham County farmers and is making a great impact on their farming operations. For the 2012 TEAP, producers will have the advantage of prioritizing the individual programs for which they wish to apply. A total of six different programs will be available which include Livestock Equipment & Handling Facilities, Livestock Feed Storage, Cattle Genetics (herd sires), Hay Storage, Grain Storage, and Producer Diversification. The Producer Diversification program provides cost-share funding for enhancing fruit and vegetable production, agritourism, honey production, horticulture, organics, and value-added products. Cost-share reimbursement range from $1,200 to $15,000 depending on the program selected.
Application forms for the 2012 TAEP are available at the University of Tennessee Extension office, the Robertson-Cheatham Farmers Coop, and Pleasant View Milling Company. The form is also available online from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at www.picktnproducts.org. The application period for this program is June 1 – June 7, 2012. The forms can either be mailed or hand delivered to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. For more information call Ronnie Barron, UT Cheatham County Extension Director at 792-4420 or the TAEP information line at 1-800-342-8206.