April 14, 2017
The Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday allowing counties to establish agriculture authorities for the creation and administration of agriculture centers.
SB 345 by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, would clear the way for a proposed 10,000-seat agriculture center near Florence, using Tennessee Valley Authority in-lieu-of-tax money and a gas tax to secure a USDA loan.
The bill provides guidelines for establishing county agriculture authorities to promote agribusinesses, farms and commodities as well as workforce development and economic development.
A companion bill, HB 450 by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, passed the House Agriculture and Forestry Committee Wednesday.
The Federation supports promotion of agriculture but defers to county Federations regarding the establishment and funding of individual centers.