State Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens is urging farmers approved for cost share assistance through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program to make their purchases now in order to receive reimbursement.

“With spring fast approaching, this is the time farmers should follow through with their approved purchases so that checks can be processed in a timely manner,” said Givens. “Waiting to make these purchases could mean the difference in improving their farming operation and losing out all together.

“Competition for these cost share dollars is expected to be heavy during the next application period. So, it’s important that farmers who are approved for this year go ahead and make their purchases as there is no guarantee of participation for next year.”

For farmers approved under this year’s program, deadlines for requesting reimbursement are:

• Cattle Genetic Cost Share: May 1.

• Hay Storage Facility Cost Share: May 1.

• Dairy and Quality Milk Initiative: June 1.

• Animal Feed Storage Cost Share: June 1.

• Producer Diversification Cost Share: June 30.

In the first six months of this year’s program, more than 8,200 farmers across the state were approved for TAEP cost share assistance. The department recently approved an additional 800 farmers whose applications were “on-hold” for animal feed storage and dairy equipment purchases. Farmers recently approved will receive notice in the mail informing them they can proceed with making qualified purchases.

The TAEP is a state funded program established by Governor Phil Bredesen and supported by the General Assembly to increase farm income in Tennessee by helping farmers invest in better farming practices and by encouraging diversification and innovation. Through TAEP, farmers can qualify for 35 percent, up to 50 percent cost share in some cases, on a variety of projects including cattle handling and genetics, hay and feed storage, dairy and milk quality, agritourism, specialty crops and specialty livestock.

For more information about reimbursement deadlines or cost share opportunities through TAEP, contact TDA’s Market Development Division at (615) 837-5160 or visit at www.picktnproducts.org and click on the Ag Enhancement link.