Cocke Co. company to benefit from Tennessee Ag cost share program

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is announcing the latest round of recipients for the Tennessee Urban Farm and Forestry (TUFF) cost share program. The funding will contribute to production increases for small farming and forestry businesses and increase access to nutritious food in Tennessee’s urban areas.

“This cost share funding is essential for strengthening Tennessee’s agricultural economy,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Farm and forest businesses are utilizing these funds to boost production and improve the quality of life for our citizens, especially in the regions supported by TUFF.”

For this round of TUFF funding, TDA received 19 applications and funding requests exceeded $3.3 million. Approximately $4 million was set aside to support the TUFF program that was made possible by the State of Tennessee’s American Rescue Plan funding through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund. Requests for support from this cost share program exceeded $6.5 million.

Applications were scored independently by three TDA staff members and reevaluated by a larger group of TDA staff with agribusiness expertise. An independent consulting firm assisted with the process by advising on the application, the scorecard, and data management.

The following businesses will receive funding in this round:

  • Mayfield Lumber Co., Warren County – lumber storage building expansion
  • Dickson County Government, Dickson County – regional agricultural center establishment
  • Friends of Mill Ridge Park, Davidson County – increase community’s access to fresh food
  • Demcor Inc., Cocke County – mulch producing equipment purchase
  • Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency, Wilson County – food storage building construction

Public health projects are evaluated based on contributions to the communities they intend to serve, their effect on minority and underserved groups who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of people they aim to impact. Other factors considered are the project’s ability to sustain the work beyond the grant period, the readiness and financial capacity to complete the project, and collaboration with industry and community partners.

When assessing small business expansion proposals, scores are determined by the potential to increase operational capacity, the number of jobs to be created, ability to sustain the work beyond the grant period, readiness and financial capacity to complete the project, and collaboration with industry and community partners.

TDA works to serve, support, and promote agriculture and forestry that keep those industries as the top industries in Tennessee.