AEP program continues supporting Tennessee agriculture
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M., today announced 12 businesses supported by the Agriculture Enterprise Fund, including three from the Upper Cumberland.
“The recipients of this ninth round of funding are investing more than $8 million in their Tennessee agriculture and forest-product businesses,” Gov. Lee said. “Farmers and forest landowners throughout the state will benefit from these projects, and we’re proud to support them through the Agriculture Enterprise Fund.”
Successful grant recipients must demonstrate a strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity or agricultural innovation. Priority is given to businesses located in at-risk or distressed counties.
One of the recipients will be using the funds to increase its scale of sustainably produced plant-based dyes.
“With our processing facility in Springfield and the hard work of Tennessee farmers, our U.S. grown, traceable plant-based indigo is being used in major denim mills around the world for the first time in over 100 years,” Sarah Bellos of Stony Creek Colors said. “AEF will not only assist us with our expansion project, but it will provide farmers throughout the region with access to a growing market for natural colorants, which is actively expanding beyond denim into other textile applications, cosmetics, and eventually food colorants.”
AEF grant recipients and projects announced include:
- Amber Falls Winery, Maury County – adding new packaging equipment
- Beaty Lumber, Fentress County – adding a new loader to transport more logs
- Colonial Roots, Greene County – expanding hemp extraction and drying facility
- LB Processors, Cheatham County – expanding hemp extraction and drying facility
- Mountain Valley Vineyards, Sevier County – adding new bottling equipment
- Plateau Sawmill, Fentress County – adding a new chipper and debarker
- Rich Farms, Clay County – new organic laying hen operation
- Stony Creek Colors, Robertson County – adding seed preparation equipment
- The Wood Shed, McNairy County – new business producing custom-cut lumber
- Traditions Logging, Grainger County – adding a new bulldozer
- Tree Products, LLC, Scott County – expanding engineered wood flooring plant
- Unaka Forest Products, Washington County – adding a new wood pallet machine
In total, AEF has awarded more than $3.3 million in funding to Tennessee businesses, leveraging nearly $53 million in agriculture and forest-product economic development.