NASHVILLE — The state of Tennessee recently announced that more than $951,000 would be allocated to 28 agricultural, food and forestry businesses using its Agricultural Enterprise Fund (AEF).

“The Ag Enterprise Fund has made recognizable improvements in Tennessee’s ag and forestry industries in just four years,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee. “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.”

The state government said the funds are intended to aid those who demonstrate measurable impacts on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity or agricultural innovation. Priority for the funding was given to businesses located in or adjacent to economically at-risk or distressed counties. 

US Department of Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher said agricultural businesses and entrepreneurs should contact the business development office in the state to apply for the assistance.

One company, Kinser Processing in Grainger County, Tenn., plans to purchase equipment for a new meat processing business.  

“After recognizing the need and demand for meat processing in our area, we decided to develop a new business to fill in the gap for other nearby farmers,” said Susan Kinser of Kinser Processing. “The Ag Enterprise Fund will enable us to have processing capacity to support our city, our county, and our region.”

The following livestock feed and meat processors received funds for their projects:

    All American Meat Processing, Giles County – Meat Processing

    Century Harvest Farms, Blount County – Meat Processing

    Circle S Farms, Wilson County – Meat Processing

    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

    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

    Pilaroc Farms, Lincoln County – Meat Processing

    Southern Ridge Farm, LLC, Maury County – Meat Processing

    Tennessee Grass Fed, LLC, Montgomery County – Meat Processing

    Clear Creek Mill, Hancock County – Livestock Feed Processor