Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program (TAEP) – 15th Anniversary!
It’s that time of year again. Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program (TAEP) application period is right around the corner. This year marks the 15th Anniversary for TAEP. According to TAEP’s website, more than $185 million has been invested in 62,942 producer projects from 2005-2019. “Participation allows producers to maximize farm profits, adapt to changing market situations, improve operation safety, increase farm efficiency, and make a positive economic impact in their communities. Each TAEP dollar generates $6.09 in local economies.” (tn.gov/agriculture/farms/taep.html) This has been a wonderful program for Wayne County producers and I know many of you are looking forward to the new program year.
There are some changes this program year that need to be highlighted as they are different from last year.
•Application period is October 1-7th. In years past, the annual application period was the first two weeks of October. However, TAEP is only accepting applications October 1-7th. Please be sure to mark your calendar and get your applications in by the 7th. Hand delivery of applications to is not allowed this year due to COVID concerns.
•Farm Operation Participation is a new definition added to encourage only one application per farm operation. TAEP acknowledges that a farm operation may be owned and operated by one person, multiple people, a company or partnership and may have multiple locations, but only one person from the farm operation is able to apply for TAEP Application A cost share.
•Reimbursement Maximums were reduced across the board this year. However, final maximums are subject to change in either direction depending on the overall demand for cost share funding.
•Hay Storage is back this year! Hay equipment and hay storage will rotate each year, so next program year Hay Equipment. There is a lifetime limit of three program reimbursements for Hay Storage.
•Fence-line Concrete Bunk Feeding Systems and Fence-Line Hay Feeding Systems have been added this year under Livestock Solutions.
•Some other newly added options include: oilers for fly management, headlock stanchion/palpation rail/stall loop, and continuous pipe panel.
•Used Equipment has to be less than 10 years old and meet all other criteria in order to be eligible for reimbursement.
•For Poultry Producers, the following has been added this year to Application C:
-Cool Cell Ventilation Systems and Watering Systems, Slats for hen houses, nesting pads for hen houses, egg conveyor equipment, brooders and heaters.
•Master Row Crop Producer: UT will be offering a Master Row Crop Producer program which will enable our eligible row crop producers to receive 50% cost-share. Information on the producer program is forthcoming. If you’re interested in the Producer Program, please e-mail Megan Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
•Tennessee Master Farm Manager (TMFM) is a new educational program offered by UT Extension. As an additional benefit, Tennessee producers who have previously qualified for 50% TAEP cost share, may utilize Master Farm Manager as a recertification. This course will focus on solid business principals to help you better manage your operation. The course will be held over eight Tuesday nights starting October 13th, 2020 at 6PM CST. This will be a Zoom based webinar this year due to COVID-19 concerns. If you’re interested in learning more about the program, please e-mail Megan Harris at email@example.com or visit the website at https://ag.tennessee.edu/arec/Pages/masterfarmmanager.aspx.
These are just some of the biggest changes noted to 2020-2021 TAEP year and this is not an exhaustive list. Application A, B, and C are available online (https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/farms/taep.html) and paper copies should be made available soon. It’s important to review all eligibility guidelines before applying. Be sure to make copies of your application for your records and send your original applications using a traceable method of delivery (IE Certified Mail).
As always, we are here to help you with your TAEP applications! Please call the office at 931-722-3229 if you need assistance.