TN Farmers Market Promotion Retail Grant Program

Tennessee Department of Agriculture

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Grant amount: Up to US $1,000

Anticipated deadline: Sep 15, 2019

Applicant type: Nonprofit Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Tennessee

Location of residency: Tennessee

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Farmers Market Promotion Retail Grant Program

The purpose of the Farmers Market Promotion and Retail Grant Program is to increase income to Tennessee farmers by providing assistance for the promotion and/or improvement of farmers markets in communities throughout Tennessee. Farmers markets provide excellent venues for agricultural producers to sell their locally grown, farm fresh products directly to consumers.

  • Grants are available to qualified Farmers Markets in amounts up to $1,000 
  • Funding is limited and grant requests are competitive

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is providing this opportunity through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP). TAEP is a direct result of the State of Tennessee's continued commitment to supporting farm development and Tennessee's agricultural community.

Eligible Activities 

Proposed activities must serve to improve or expand the sales at the farmers market through the following activities:

  • Promotion and Advertising, including but not limited to:
    • print media
    • radio
    • television

Please note that advertising requests must merit the size of the community serviced and approved advertising projects must interface with TDA promotional campaigns (i.e., include Pick Tennessee Products logo). 

  • Public Use Considerations, including but not limited to: 
    • central heat and air
    • concession areas
    • handicap accessibility
    • lighting
    • parking areas
    • restroom facilities (permanent)
  • Marketing, including but not limited to:
    • brochures
    • direct promotions
    • maps
    • signs and posters
    • website development (must provide quote from a professional service provider)
    • Educational scholarships (up to $300) for market managers, staff and/or vendors to attend the Annual Membership meeting of Tennessee Association of Farmers Markets (TAFM). Eligible costs include mileage, registration fees and lodging per the state’s travel regulations. 
  • Retail Considerations, including but not limited to:
    • counters
    • loading dock
    • refrigeration equipment (i.e., fruit and vegetable cooling equipment)
    • utility sinks for fruit and vegetable sale preparation
    • shelters
    • permanent display tables and shelving for sales floor
    • shopping carts
    • tables

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Grant funds are available to qualified farmers markets for promotion and certain retail activities.
    • A qualified farmers market will have several farmer-producers selling their own agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and grains) directly to the general public at a fixed venue and time.
    • Additional factors include established market bylaws, guidelines and management plan.
  • Grants will be issued to public entities or legally organized associations capable of receiving and managing state grant funds (501C3, city or county government, university, etc.).
  • Activities must meet all state and local building, food safety, and regulatory requirements.


  • Grants are not available to individuals.
  • Annual fees such as domain and hosting costs are not eligible.
  • Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:
    • administrative and overhead costs
    • general office equipment (computers, copiers, scanners, etc.)
    • community festivals and other special events held on-site
    • commercial or demonstration kitchens
    • give-a-way items or merchandising items
    • motorized vehicles (golf carts, lawn mowers, tractors, etc.)
    • paying off existing debt
    • purchase of property
    • travel and other travel expenses related to the day-to-day operation of the organization (with the exception of Tennessee Farmers Market Association Annual Meeting Scholarship)
    • salaries, wages, and fringe benefits of employees