Two Clay County businesses receive AEF grants

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M., announced today the largest number of Agricultural Enterprise Fund (AEF) recipients and the highest award of grant dollars in the program’s history. Just over $951,000 will be dispersed to 28 agricultural, food and forestry businesses, including two Clay County businesses, D&D Meats Inc., a local meat processor, and J&L Wholesale specializing in aquaculture.

“The Ag Enterprise Fund has made recognizable improvements in Tennessee’s ag and forestry industries in just four years,” Lee said. “The strategic investments from this program improve the local food supply chain, create new market opportunities for producers and lead to strong economic impact in our communities.”

AEF awards grants to starting or expanding agricultural, food and forestry businesses in Tennessee and supports Lee’s priorities in rural areas. Awards are made to those who demonstrate a potential for measurable impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity or agricultural innovation. Priority is given to businesses located in or adjacent to economically at-risk or distressed counties.

“This record-making round of funding will effect businesses and economies in nearly every county in Tennessee,” Commissioner Hatcher said. “From meat processors and food manufacturers to sawmills and feed processors, growth of these businesses will have a lasting impact on Tennessee’s number one industry. We invite agricultural businesses and entrepreneurs to contact our Business Development Division to apply for AEF assistance.”

AEF grant recipients and projects announced include:

  • All American Meat Processing, Giles County – Meat Processing
  • Century Harvest Farms, Blount County – Meat Processing
  • Circle S Farms, Wilson County – Meat Processing
  • Clear Creek Mill, Hancock County – Livestock Feed Processor
  • D&D Meats Inc., Clay County – Meat Processing
  • Friend Valley Ranch, Hancock County – Meat Processing
  • Gary Swafford Farm, Bledsoe County – Meat Processing
  • Ghyers Timber and Sawmill, Henry County – Forest Products
  • Hancock Custom Processing, LLC, Morgan County – Meat Processing
  • Hassell & Hughes Lumber Co., Wayne County – Forest Products
  • Honey Haven Butcher Shop, McMinn County – Meat Processing
  • J&L Wholesale, Clay County – Aquaculture 
  • Kinser Processing, Grainger County – Meat Processing 
  • Kenny Bob’s Foods, Inc., Robertson County – Food Manufacturing
  • Laurel Hill Meat Processing, Henry County – Meat Processing
  • Linda’s Rabbit Processing, LLC, Knox County – Meat Processing
  • Papa Joe Sauces, LLC, Cheatham County – Food Manufacturing
  • Pilaroc Farms, Lincoln County – Meat Processing
  • Selph Farming and Logging, Humphreys County – Forest Products
  • Southern Ridge Farm, LLC, Maury County – Meat Processing
  • Stratton Tomatoes and Greenhouses, Grainger County – Fruit Packaging
  • Superior Produce, Davidson County – Food Manufacturing
  • Tennessee Grass Fed, LLC, Montgomery County – Meat Processing
  • Tennessee Timber LLC, Grundy County – Forest Products
  • Tennessee Valley Hardwoods, Lawrence County – Forest Products
  • Tennessee Sheep Producers Association – Livestock Support
  • Tom Sawyer LLC, Carroll County – Forest Products
  • Uncle Nearest, Inc., Bedford County – Distillery

In total, the Agricultural Enterprise Fund has awarded nearly $5.3 million in funding to Tennessee businesses, leveraging more than $82 million in agriculture and forest-product economic development since the program’s launch. You will find more information about AEF at www.tn.gov/agriculture/businesses/aef.html or by emailing Will Freeman at william.h.freeman@tn.gov.

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