The Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD) and the Cumberland Area Investment Corporation (CAIC) are looking for a new crop of farmers to assist with the agencies’ Farm Loan funding opportunities.

Offering low-interest, fixed-rate loans, the Farm Loan program can provide a minimum of $7,500 to a maximum of $25,000 for up to seven years to Upper Cumberland farmers. This program is open for all Upper Cumberland farms and farmers. Applicants will need to provide the farm address, proof of ownership, or lease, as well as complete an application, and provide financial information.

“We are thankful to be able to offer this loan program designed to support Upper Cumberland farmers grow their operations and continue to provide the valuable resources they supply the region’s citizens,” said Megan Choate, Director of Lending and Economic Development. 

The goal of the farm loan program is to support farming operations of all sizes in the Upper Cumberland region and expand their farming operation. The loan program can be used in conjunction with other farming support programs such as the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) and the Agricultural Enterprise Fund (AEF) offered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. 

Loan funds can be used for a variety of needs; primarily equipment. Examples include but are not limited to hay rakes, hay and storage barns, bush hogs, hay wagons, trailers, cattle handling equipment, apiary expansion, beehives, and honey processing equipment, coolers, irrigation, greenhouse construction and materials, grain bins, augers, aeration, drying and stirring equipment, specially equipped no-till drills, and specialty equipment square balers. 

The farm loan does have restrictions and cannot be used for administrative or overhead costs, paying off existing debt, purchase of property, travel, salaries, wages, purchase of livestock, general motorized equipment (including mowers, tractors, and trucks), inputs (including fertilizer, gasoline, operation supplies, pesticides,  or seed stock), fencing, clearing of land, general maintenance or renovations, water source creation such as ponds or wells, or normal costs associated with farming. 

To discuss the Development District’s Farm Loan program and other possible resources, call Jesse Villard at (931) 476-4132 or via email