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Eligibility Requirements and Cost Share Options


    1. Applicant must be a citizen of the United States of America and/or lawfully present in the United States.
    2. Applicant must be an individual Tennessee resident operating a farm located in Tennessee.
    3. Applicant must be at least 18 years old on application date.
    4. Applicant must have the ability and financial capacity to complete the project.
    5. Applicant must meet minimum livestock/acreage requirements for each program applied for, where applicable.
      • Head of livestock = maximum number of single type, regardless of sex or age, at one time during the last 12 months.
    6. Applicant or a member of the applicant’s immediate family must own land where permanent structures will be built. Only one application, per premises or property, per family owned land, per household, per business, per application period is allowed.
      • Immediate family members include: spouse; children; parents; siblings; grandparents; grandchildren; great grandparents; and
        spouse’s children, parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, great grandparents.
      • Livestock Equipment and Genetics projects can be located on leased land.
      • See Livestock Working Facility Cover, Hay Storage, Livestock Feed Storage, Grain Storage and Producer Diversification programs
        for more information.
    7. Premises registration is required for applicants with livestock on their operations.
      • Applicant name must match contact name (primary or alternate) listed on premises account to be eligible.
      • The premises account number is tied to the individual.
      • The premises id number is tied to the farm address.
      • An individual can have multiple premises id numbers if they have multiple farm locations.
      • The farm address listed on the cost share application must match the address for the premises id listed on the application.
      • Premises registration forms and instructions are available from TDA by calling 615-837-5120 or atwww.tn.gov/agriculture/regulatory/livestock.html.
    8. Beef and Dairy cattle producers must have current TN Beef Quality Assurance
      Certification (BQA)
      at date of application.
      • BQA is a two-hour educational course on cattle management and care sponsored by the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA).
        BQA numbers must be CURRENT at time of application. Contact TCA for additional information on BQA classes at 615-896-2333, info@tncattle.org, www.tncattle.org, your local UT Extension office.
    9. Swine producers must have current Pork Quality Assurance Plus Certification (PQA) at date of application.
      • PQA Plus is a two-hour educational course on swine management and care sponsored by the Tennessee Pork Producers Association (TPPA). PQA numbers must be renewed every three years and CURRENT at time of application. Contact TPPA for additional
        information on PQA Plus classes at 615-274-6533 or tn pork@tds.net.
    10. Dairy producers (cattle, goats and sheep) must be permitted by TDA to be eligible as a dairy.
      • Contact TDA Consumer and Industry Services, Food and Dairy Division, at 615-837-5193, for permit information.
    11. Certifications, permits and other priority requirements as specified by program must be completed by the applicant. No substitutions allowed.
      • This applies to: BQA, PQA, dairy permit, premises registration, master producer certifications, and Producer Diversification requirements.

Cost Share Options


  1. 35% Cost Share - Standard Producer
    • Each program offers cost share at this level.

  2. 50% Cost Share - Master Producer
    Genetics, Livestock Equipment, Livestock Working Facility Cover, Hay Storage, Livestock Feed Storage, Grain Storage
    • Applicants must complete a course related to their operation to be eligible for 50% cost share
    • The course must be completed by the applicant prior to the program reimbursement deadline
    • Eligible Courses
      • Master Beef Producer (MBP)
      • Advanced Master Beef Producer (AMBP)
      • Master Meat Goat Producer (MMGP)
      • Advanced Master Meat Goat Producer (AMMGP)
      • Three or more Tennessee Quality Milk Initiative (TQMI) modules
      • Master Dairy Producer (MDP) - two or more modules
    • Eligibility By Program
      • Genetics - Cattle or goats/sheep producers taking MBP, AMBP, MMGP, AMMGP, TQMI or MDP
      • Livestock Equipment - Cattle or goats/sheep producers taking MBP, AMBP, MMGP, AMMGP, TQMI or MDP
      • Livestock Working Facility Cover - Cattle or goats/sheep producers taking MBP, AMBP, MMGP, AMMGP, TQMI or MDP
      • Hay Storage - Cattle, goats/sheep, or hay producers taking MBP, AMBP, MMGP, AMMGP, TQMI or MDP
      • Livestock Feed Storage - Cattle or goats/sheep producers taking MBP, AMBP, MMGP, AMMGP, TQMI or MDP
      • Grain Storage - Not available

    Producer Diversification

    • Applicants must attend certain events related to their operation or obtain required certification
    • Applicants must have participated in events from 2012 - 2015
    • All certifications must be completed by the applicant prior to the reimbursement deadline
    • Eligible Course
      • Tennessee Agritourism Conference
      • Agritourism Workshop
      • Direct Marketing Sense Course
      • Direct Marketing Workshop
      • GAP Food Safety Workshop
      • Good Ag Practices (GAP) Certification
      • Tennessee Horticultural Expo
      • UT BeeMaster Course
      • UT Master Nursery Course
      • UT USDA Organic Certification

Find your local UT/TSU Extension office and inquire about educational course offerings by visiting utextension.tennessee.edu or www.tnstate.edu/extension

TDA offers partial scholarships for participation in UT/TSU Extension’s MBP, MMGP, MBee and/or TQMI programs. Funding is paid directly to UT.

  • Master Beef Producer Scholarship - $100
  • Master Meat Goat Producer Scholarship - $100
  • BeeMaster Scholarship - $50
  • TQMI Module - $40 per session