Smith County Agriculture News – By Katie Martin, Smith County Extension Agent
October is not just about leaves changing colors and pumpkin spice lattes. For many Smith County farmers, October means it’s time for the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program. October 1st through the 7th will again be the application period for the 2023 Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP). TAEP is a cost-share program that assists Tennessee farmers in diversifying, expanding, and improving their farming operations. According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, “More than $246 million has been invested in 80,860 producer projects from 2005 through 2022. Each TAEP dollar generates $6.55 in local economies.”
Applications are available at the University of Tennessee Extension office at 125 Gordonsville Hwy in Carthage. Producers are also able to apply online at www.tn.gov/taep. To increase program and resource efficiency, the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program is taking steps toward a fully online application. The 2023 application process will still accept paper applications, but to prepare for future year’s application process, please ensure you have a working email account. Applying online ensures all sections of the application are completed and verifies the application was received by sending a confirmation email.
Educational requirements for obtaining TAEP cost share funds for beef and forage producers include the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) course and the Master Beef Producer course. BQA trainings are currently scheduled for September 18th at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce.
The Advanced Master Beef Producer course, which is required for 50% cost share, will be held beginning October 3rd in Hartsville and in February in Carthage.
For more information on these classes or to get help with your TAEP paperwork, contact the UT Extension office at 615-735-2900.