HELENA -- A Beaverhead County meat processing facility and an organic artisan pasta company in Whitefish are among 10 recipients awarded a total of $286,085 in grants and loans through Montana's Growth Through Agriculture program.
The goal of the GTA program is to strengthen and diversify Montana's agricultural industry through development of new agricultural products and processes, said David Tyler, Chairman of the Montana Agricultural Development Council.
Among the grant and loan recipients is Dell Center LLC, which will construct a new meat processing facility in the heart of ranching country in southern Beaverhead County. A new 2,000 square foot building will meet all requirements for a state-inspected facility. It will provide needed cooler and freezer space, as well as the saws and tables to process more than 400 animals each year.
"We’ve seen our meat processing business triple in the past seven years and have already gone through one expansion," said Paul LeMay, Jr., manager and operator of Dell Center LLC meat shop. "We have simply outgrown our current building and believe the demand for this type of facility in Southwest Montana is supported by the large number of cattle ranches in this area. A local state-inspected facility would result in a cost savings for local ranchers by not having to transport their animals at least 100 additional miles."
The expanded facility also will provide additional jobs in a rural area where it is difficult to find work, added Jeanne Schnitzler, co-owner of the facility.
Great Northern Pasta of Whitefish will use its GTA grant to expand production facilities and their product line. The company is the only producer of fresh certified-organic pasta products in the regional market. The company's new dried long and short pasta product lines will have complementary fresh and frozen lines.
"The objective is to add shelf-stable dried pastas as well as frozen raviolis to our product line," said General Manager Jeff Russell. "The company's farm-to-table approach to product manufacturing and marketing of pasta products is unique in the regional market and has met with enthusiastic reception from grocery and food service statewide. The results of our expansion will include new product packaging, new distribution channels outside Montana, and additional employees in our company."
For a complete list of GTA funding awards, visit the department's Growth Through Agriculture website.
The Agriculture Development Council, which consists of representatives from agriculture and government, reviews and selects successful applicants for GTA grants and loans twice a year. The next deadline for draft applications for the Growth Through Agriculture program is January 9, 2013. For more information, see the link below or contact Angie Nelson at 406-444-2402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of GTA Grant Recipients in Latest Round:
Dell Center, LLC
A grant and a loan for a total of $30,000 to assist with the construction of a meat processing facility in Dell.
Flathead Valley Community College
A grant for $18,200 to assist with consultant costs related for the development and implementation of a new multi-functional farm, agriculture entrepreneurship curriculum that will assist farmers and ranchers in developing additional income streams for their businesses in the Flathead Valley and Montana.
Global Agro Commodities LLC
A grant and a loan for a total of $50,000 in funding to assist the company and its parent company, Bespoke Group, LLC, which processes and exports pulse crops to India, with engineering costs and equipment purchases needed to renovate the Chester elevator from a wheat facility to a pulse crop facility.
Great Northern Pasta Company LLC
A grant for $49,900 to assist with equipment and construction costs associated with the expansion of the organic artisan pasta company in Whitefish.
Headframe Spirits, Inc.
A grant for $33,250 to assist with marketing costs and software development costs that would assist the micro-distillery in Butte with regulatory reporting, inventory and production management.
A loan for $35,570 to assist the family owned dairy and creamery of Kalispell with the purchase of rotary yogurt cup filler equipment in order to expand its product lines to include cottage cheese and yogurt products.
Lake County Community Development Corporation & the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center
A grant for $7,500 to assist the Food and Agricultural Development Center in Ronan with the completion of a market analysis study to determine the feasibility of a Western Montana value-added dairy cooperative.
Lakeland Feed and Supply
A grant for $30,000 to assist the feed manufacturing and supply company of Hamilton, Alberton and Dillon, Montana, with the costs of ISO certification in order to improve its manufacturing processes, increase productivity and increase competitiveness to reach new customers.
On the Rise Bakery
A grant for $24,000 to assist with the purchase and installation of an oven to assist with the expansion of the artisan bread producer in Bozeman.
Western Montana Growers Cooperative
A grant for $7,665 to assist the cooperative, which markets and distributes for 38 farms, with the completion of a feasibility study to address its growing warehouse and storage needs.
Angela Nelson, Program Manager
Growth Through Agriculture Program
Phone: (406) 444-0134
Published: November 27, 2012 3:20:00 PM MST.
Last Modified: March 15, 2013 9:10:33 AM MDT