What types of projects will be considered for the Agriculture Enterprise Fund?

There is a wide array of projects that could potentially satisfy Agriculture Enterprise Fund requirements. The following are examples of projects that would fit the parameters of the AEF. The list is not exhaustive nor does it indicate that a particular project is guaranteed funding.

  • Grain elevator or a food or beverage processing facility that purchases from Tennessee farmers
  • Meat processing facility that will allow Tennessee farmers to sell value-added products to consumers
  • Farmer who adds value on-farm to market products to consumers
  • Growth capital to manufacture or market a new agricultural innovation


How can I use Agriculture Enterprise Funds?

AEF grant money can be used for equipment purchases, infrastructure development, or programs or events that support the goals of the AEF. AEF grant money cannot be used for employee salaries or land purchases.


What is the maximum amount I can be awarded through the Agriculture Enterprise Fund?

There is no set cap on grant amounts; however, applicants should note that the total funding for AEF in 2017-2018 is $1 million. Applicants will not be awarded more than 25% of their project budget. The Commissioner of Agriculture may decide to fund a proposal at a different amount than what is requested.


What is the deadline for submitting AEF applications?

There is no deadline to submit applications. The Department of Agriculture will review applications on a rolling basis. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early.


Where do I find a list of distressed and at-risk counties in Tennessee?

A map of all counties with their economic status is available here:



For more information, please contact Laura Vaught at or (615) 927-6290.