The 2021 Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) application period has been set for Oct. 1-7.

The program was established in 2005 to provide cost-share dollars to agricultural producers for the purpose of making long-term investments in Tennessee farms and communities. Since then, more than $207 million has been invested in 68,748 producer projects.

There are changes that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture made to the program. There is a new farmer program. So, for those who have never applied and may not have the requirements for the certain programs, for example 30 head of cattle, they can still apply. Then, the program cost share may allow individuals to build up to the needed requirements for future years of applying.

Also, those producers who applied in the past could be affected by changes this year. More information can be gained by reading page 4 of the TAEP application A.

Producers can apply for a variety of programs and may qualify for up to 50% cost share, depending on the program. Producers should use application A for livestock equipment, genetics, hay equipment, herd health, livestock solutions, working facility structures, dairy solutions and row crop solutions.

All approved applicants are eligible for 35% (for a standard producer) cost share. For applicants wanting to qualify for 50-% cost share (for a master producer), an eligible master producer certificate is required at the time of reimbursement (not time of application).

TAEP-approved applicants who have an eligible master-producer certificate at the time of reimbursement may qualify for up to 50% cost share of the program maximum. There are several master programs that make producers eligible for cost share compared to what was offered when the TAEP program started in 2005. Interested individauls can contact the Macon County Extension Office by calling 615-666-3341 for more information.

Application B is available for farmers with investments in agritourism, fruits and vegetables, honeybees, horticulture, organics, and value-added products.

Application C is available for commercial poultry growers.

To learn more TAEP cost share opportunities for Agritourism, fruit and vegetable, honeybee, horticulture, organic, and value-added sectors, visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/farms/taep.

Letters have been sent out to master beef producers who have certifications that are expired (which are good for 3 years). Sometimes, letters and postage go astray.

If anyone is unsure of his/her certification for master beef or beef quality assurance (BQA), they can call the the local extension office.

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