Tennessee doubles reimbursement for farmer certification


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee agriculture officials have doubled the reimbursement available for fruit and vegetable farmers who achieve a certification that lets them sell directly to customers.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture says it will now reimburse up to 75% or up to $1,500 of the Good Agricultural Practices certification inspection. That amounts to double what was available last year.

The certification comes with the kind of stringent food safety requirements that large grocery stores, hospitals and universities mandate. The application period closes Oct. 31.

The cost share program is only for producers. Warehouses and distributors are not eligible.

The money is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Services Specialty Crop Block Grant program.