The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has added new cost share opportunities to the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP). The program will begin accepting new applications June 2. Applications should not be postmarked prior to that date.

“The Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program has invested millions of dollars in helping Tennessee farmers improve their operations and increase profits,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens. “Everyone benefits from this investment because this program doesn’t end at the farm gate. A recent study has shown that for every dollar invested, an additional $4.64 is generated in local economic activity.”

This year, TAEP has added grain storage as a new cost share opportunity and expanded the livestock equipment and handling facilities, hay storage and livestock feed storage opportunities. The livestock feed storage cost share now includes funds for cattle, goats, sheep, poultry and swine, while the livestock equipment and handling facilities and the hay storage cost share includes funds for cattle, goats and sheep.

The purpose of the new grain storage cost share opportunity is to assist producers in improving quantity, quality and marketing of grain by using proper storage and management practices. Cost share funds for producers are available to install on-farm grain storage facilities.

Continued cost share opportunities available include producer diversification and the feeder cattle incentive. The feeder cattle incentive offers funds for producers who provide age and source verification and pre-condition calves for health and nutrition standards.

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 or 50 percent cost share ranging from a maximum of $1,200 to $15,000 on a variety of projects.

Applications and additional information about cost share opportunities through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program can be found online at picktnproducts.org or by calling toll-free 800-345-8206. Applications will also be available through local farm related businesses and agencies, including UT Extension, co-ops, Farm Bureaus and USDA farm service centers.