Boosting Agriculture with TUFF Cost Share Funding

Tennessee announces second round TUFF funding recipients.

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) has unveiled the second round of recipients for the Tennessee Urban Farm and Forestry (TUFF) cost share program, aimed at enhancing production capabilities for farms and forestry-focused small businesses while also increasing access to nutritious food in urban areas of Tennessee.

Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M., emphasized the importance of the TUFF cost share funding in strengthening the state’s agricultural economy and improving the well-being of its citizens, especially in regions benefiting from TUFF funding. The initiative is funded by the State of Tennessee’s American Rescue Plan through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

In this round, TDA received 11 applications, with funding requests totaling over $1.62 million. Each application underwent a rigorous evaluation process by TDA staff, taking into consideration the project’s potential impact on public health, its benefit to minority and underserved groups, sustainability beyond the grant period, and the level of collaboration with industry and community partners.

Projects aimed at small business expansion were judged based on their capacity to increase operational efficiency, generate employment, and ensure project sustainability. An independent consulting firm lent its expertise to refine the application and scoring processes.

The beneficiaries of the second round of funding include projects across various counties, such as the City of McMinnville’s community garden, Curvey Road Sawmill’s urban sawmill initiative, and Granite Wheel Farm’s agritourism and educational farm, among others. These projects underscore TUFF’s commitment to supporting diverse agricultural and forestry endeavors throughout Tennessee.

Approximately $4 million has been allocated for the TUFF program, with future funding rounds planned to support more eligible applicants. Those not awarded in this cycle are encouraged to apply for the next round, with the application period slated for April 1-15, 2024. Further details on the program and application process can be found at

For additional information or queries, interested parties are advised to contact the TDA’s Business Development Division at

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