TDA Presents Grant Opportunities to Local Agriculture Businesses

A special presentation by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) took place on Monday, October 28, 2019 at the Fentress County Courthouse, during which interested local businesspeople were informed of possible grant opportunities to help their businesses and the community.

Jessie Campbell, Public Affairs Regional Coordinator for the Department of Agriculture, explained that new grant opportunities were now available for agribusinesses in Tennessee through the Agriculture Enterprise Fund. Business projects that could potentially be funded through these grants include equipment, facilities and various other projects. Businesses that can benefit from these grants include  farms, logging companies, breweries, distilleries or wineries, and processing facilities. 

The requirements for these grants are intentionally broad, but most grants must be used to support Tennessee agriculture. Additionally, grants cannot be used to pay salaries or to purchase land. Grants can be used for startup operations, but a comprehensive business plan is required. “We want to support businesses that are staples of the community, that sell local products and employ local people,” said Campbell.

TDA has already awarded nearly $150,000 in grants to Fentress County businesses this year. One recipient of such a grant, Tony Baldwin of Baldwin Lumber, said that the TDA officials had been very good to work with, and had been very helpful throughout the grant application process.

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