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TSU 2022 Small Farm Expo and Nominate a Farmer

Tennessee State University 2022 Small Farm Expo, September 8- Nominate a Small Farmer for the ‘Tennessee Small Farmer of the Year Award’

SAVE THE DATE and plan to join us for The 18th Annual Tennessee State University 2022 Small Farm Expo on September 8, 2022

EXHIBITIONS | SPEAKERS | FIELD TOUR PROGRAMS will be held at the TSU Farm located at 1946 Ed Temple Blvd. Nashville, TN 37208Small Farm Expo Day will highlight exhibitors, speakers, and Field Tour programs.
Universities, Federal and State Agencies • One Stop Resource Page for Small Farms • Small Farm Grant Programs • Research Plots’ Tours • Educational Workshops • Food Preservation • Poultry Production • Greenbelt and Forestry Management Topics• Industrial Hemp Field Tour• Organic Vegetable Trials Tour• Ruminant Livestock Management • Small Farmer Recognition2022 Tennessee Small Farms Expo Exhibitor Registration Tennessee Small Farms Expo Attendee Registration Tennessee Small Farmer Recognition Nomination a Small Farmer Guidelines: About the Award
The “Tennessee Small Farmer of the Year Award” program is a joint effort by the various agriculture agencies in Tennessee. The purpose of this program is to identify and recognize exemplary efforts of small farmers throughout Tennessee. In order to assist in our efforts, the Tennessee State University, College of Agriculture invites you to support small farmers by participating in the Small Farmer of the Year Award Program. You may nominate one outstanding small farmer from your county for each of the four categories:

  • Best Management Practices
  • Alterative Enterprises
  • Innovative Marketing and
  • Most Improved Beginning Small Farmer

to compete for the “Small Farmer of the Year” award.
One nominee will be chosen as the winner from each category, and an overall winner will be awarded as the “Tennessee Small Farmer of the Year.” The award recipients will be presented at the Tennessee State University College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Program’s Small Farm Expo awards’ Session, to be held on September 8, 2022.
The completed nomination, including any supplemental materials, must be submitted on the online form by no later than 4:30 PM on August 5, 2022.Eligibility
The farm operated by the nominee must:

  • Be located in the State of Tennessee;
  • Depend on family members for the majority of labor and/or management;
  • Be operated by a family who depends on farming for a significant portion (not necessarily a majority) of its income; and
  • Have direct or indirect gross annual farm sales of less than $250,000 (based on an average of the past three years). Nominations Nomination is open to any producer who meets the criteria specified for each/any category, and may be made by an agency and/or the nominee.

 Specific Criteria Considerations of each Award Category
A. Best Management Practices

  • List environmental and conservation practices implemented, and acreage involved (e.g. field borders, riparian forest buffers, exclusion of livestock from water sources, rotational grazing, etc.).
  • Include any documentation of benefits derived from practices (on-farm and off-farm benefits).
  • Describe any involvement in research/applied research/demonstration on the farm.
  • Did the nominee overcome any obstacles to implement BMPs?
  • Has the nominee participated in a watershed conservation effort?

B. Innovative Marketing

  • Describe marketing efforts (internet, direct ads, newspaper, TV, etc).
  • Has the nominee developed his/her own product line?
  • How has the farm operation impacted the local economy?
  • What is the estimated income growth due to marketing strategy (%)?
  • How has customer satisfaction and/or consumer feedback affected the nominee’s marketing strategy?

C. Alternative Enterprises

  • How many types of non-traditional items are produced/ marketed, and has the nominee done this through need (e.g. lost tobacco base) or to fill a foreseen niche (e.g. freshwater Prawns)?
  • Describe the alternative enterprise(s) and how long the nominee has been involved (growing/producing, processing, packaging, distribution, etc).
  • What type of consumer feedback system (if any) is implemented?

D. Most Improved Beginning Small Farmer of the Year

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must have less than 10 years of Agricultural Experience.
  • Describe improvement in production or farm management practices.
  • Provide potential reasons for the improvement in the operation.

  Submit your nomination online >>
   If you prefer to send a nomination package, the form is available here for downloading and return a completed form and a supplemental materials marked by August 5th, 2022 to:
Att. Jaime Madison, Cooperative Extension, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd. Nashville, TN, 37209

From the Tennessee Department of Agriculture:

 Agricultural Enterprise Fund DEADLINE July 15

The Agricultural Enterprise Fund (AEF) is an incentive program that supports Governor Lee’s priority of job creation and economic development by facilitating agricultural development in Tennessee. It is administered by the Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Department of Economic and Community Development.
The AEF awards grants to starting or expanding agricultural, food, and forestry businesses; nonprofits, local governments, and other entities in Tennessee, or those whose project will be located in Tennessee. The program focuses on value-added and processing projects that benefit other producers or forest landowners. Farming projects such as livestock, row crop, or horticulture production expansions will not be competitive, but may be supported through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP).
Successful grant recipients must demonstrate a strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity or agricultural innovation. Priority will be given to businesses located in at-risk counties, distressed counties, and counties adjoining at-risk or distressed counties, and the AEF selection process is competitive. The next AEF application deadline will be July 15, 2022.
Project Categories Projects funded by the Agricultural Enterprise Fund must match the description of at least one of the following four categories. Many projects will potentially match the description of more than one category and applicants should indicate so on their application.
· Increase in Farm Income - This category includes projects that will increase farm income by offering farmers higher commodity prices than other markets, processing value-added products for farmers, or allowing a single farmer to add value to their own farm products.
· Increased Access to Markets - This category includes projects that will create or expand a market for Tennessee farmers or forest landowners, including reducing miles that farmers must transport their products to market or creating a new market entirely.
· Increased Capacity - This category includes projects that will expand the capacity of an existing agricultural, food, or forestry business, including their production or processing capacity or the number of employees.
· Agricultural Innovation - This category is appropriate for entrepreneurs who wish to market a new technological innovation with the potential to impact Tennessee agriculture or the forestry industry by creating efficiencies in production, reducing costs, etc.
Applicant Requirements
· Applicants must be a Tennessee entity (i.e. agriculture, food, or forestry business, farmer, local government, or nonprofit in Tennessee) or have a project based in Tennessee.
· Applicants must demonstrate that their project will increase farm income for local farmers, enhance access to agricultural markets, increase capacity of their business, or contribute to the agriculture industry through innovation.
· Applicants must be making an investment into the project. AEF funds may not be more than 25% of the project’s total budget.
· Applicants must submit project updates to measure impact of the grant on the applicant as well as the local economy, and agree to work with the Department of Agriculture to track success of the project.
· Applicants may not submit proposals that will result in relocation of a facility from one place in Tennessee to another.
· Applicants must purchase at least 25% of any agricultural inputs from Tennessee producers. This requirement may be relaxed when compliance would be impracticable – i.e. in times of drought, disease, etc.
For more information, please email or call (615) 289-7955.


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