Original thoughts for this directory called for it to include listings of resources primarily available from the United States Department of Agriculture and within the state of Tennessee. However, in preparing the directory, it was found that information for most all federal programs available from USDA were listed in an existing publication, Building Better Rural Places. Building Better Rural Places is a USDA publication that lists programs for sustainable agriculture, forestry, entrepreneurship, conservation and community development. The 148-page publication is available for viewing and printing on the Internet at http://attra.ncat.org/guide. Therefore, this directory is intended to serve as a complement and supplement, not a duplication, to Building Better Rural Places.
Similar to Building Better Rural Places, this directory is intended to streamline the search for various programs, services, information and resources that assist farmers and entrepreneurs in developing value-added enterprises. The directory includes contact information for various types of resources available in Tennessee. A brief description of each program is included, but intricate and specific details or requirements for each program are not included. The listings in this directory are intended to provide an initial scan of available programs, but are not intended to provide all of the information necessary to receive assistance from the programs. For more specific details and information, the program provider should be contacted directly. The program descriptions included here should serve as a helpful preparation for specific follow-up contacts with the program providers.
As stated earlier, one of the objectives of this directory is to streamline the search for programs, agencies and other resources that other business development assistance. The process of identifying and locating business assistance is often difficult and frustrating. Internet searches often lead to programs or resources that no longer exist or give inaccurate contact information. Many times, programs are referenced by more than one title or different agencies may list the same program with a different title. Confusion may also exists when programs are funded and promoted by one agency, but administered by another agency. Frustration also stems from difficulties in determining a program’s eligibility requirements and parameters.
For these reasons, this directory is intended to help identify available programs, agencies and resources and provide enough information to make contacts with the sources more efficient and effective. Identified sources are listed in this directory in one of two sections. Listed in Section I are programs that provide assistance to value-added enterprises, small businesses and/or rural businesses in Tennessee. The programs are categorized according to the type of assistance provided – financial, technical or marketing. Sources listed in Section II are agencies and resources that provide business development information to businesses regardless of their type, size (small or large) or location in Tennessee. These listings include the Web site addresses of the various agencies and a general idea of the services/information provided by the agency.
"PB1761-Tapping Available Resources - A Directory of Programs in Tennessee That Support Rural Economic," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, PB1761-2M-2/06 R12-4010-019-002-06 06-0177, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexmkt/23