Garden Grant Program

The Tennessee Farm Bureau wants to help teachers present agriculture curriculum to our state’s students. We invite you to apply for the grants and utilize any other resources available. More information can be found below, and if you have any questions regarding the program, contact Chris Fleming, Associate Director of Special Programs – (931) 388 – 7872, ext. 2759.

Project Information

The Outdoor Classroom Garden Grant Program is designed to show that agriculture is an integral part of our everyday environment. Farms, wildlife, forestry, people and cities are all interrelated with agriculture. As most of Tennessee’s wildlife resides on and feeds off of private property, including farms and timber lands, the gardens can demonstrate the connection between agriculture, food, fiber, conservation, wildlife and the urban environment.

There is no application deadline. Applications will be accepted as long as grant funding is available. Ag in the Classroom Foundation committee members will evaluate each application for proper criteria and study objectives before grants are awarded. Notification of acceptance or rejection of application will be delivered in writing. Money will be awarded by your county Farm Bureau leadership. Up to $500 may be awarded for new garden sites, and that must include matching funds. Up to $250 may be awarded for ongoing garden projects.

Criteria for Schools, 4-H Clubs and FFA Chapters

  • A minimum of 100 students for average daily attendance.
  • Garden must be located on or adjacent to the school site.
  • Project must be advised by an agriculture Extension agent.
  • Project must also be advised by an NRCS Area Conservationist.
  • A farmer volunteer, preferably a county Farm Bureau board member, must also serve as a project advisor.
  • Teacher and parent involvement is mandatory.
  • Applicants must have either attended a university workshop or agree to attend and/or send another teacher. Workshop participants will receive Agriculture in the Classroom resource materials and training on how to use the interdisciplinary material in conjunction with regular classroom learning activities.
  • Cooperative efforts are encouraged.
  • Most importantly, the gardens must contain production agriculture crops, such as corn, wheat, oats, etc… and/or garden vegetables.
  • Good usage of water quality and soil erosion control methods is required.
  • This funding may not be used for flower, butterfly or nature trails.
  • Outdoor Classroom Garden projects may include production livestock. Grants may be awarded for developing pasture or hay ground.

Matching Funds

The following is a list of resources that may be able to provide matching funds for the outdoor classroom garden:

  • Tennessee Department of Agriculture
  • STEM funds (subject to school system approval)
  • County Farm Bureau
  • Local Farmers Cooperative
  • Agricultural businesses and organizations
  • Lumber yards, hardware stores, etc.
  • In-kind support, i.e. equipment, labor, materials, etc.