HELENA, Mont. — A fledgling Kalispell juice company and a Bozeman salad greens producer are among a dozen recipients that will receive a total of $218,500 in grants through the state's Growth Through Agriculture program.
"The goal of the GTA program is to provide financial assistance to develop new products or innovative ideas that enhance and add value to our Montana’s agricultural industry," said David Tyler, chairman of the Montana Agricultural Development Council. "Companies who received the grants are required to match the investment, bringing the total expenditure for these projects to nearly a half million dollars."
Among the grant recipients is Kalispell Bottling Company, who will purchase equipment for the start-up of a fruit juice processing and bottling company in Kalispell. Converting perishable fruit into a shelf-stable beverage will expand the market for produce and permit year-round, rather than seasonal, sales. The operation can utilize any fruit grown in the region, and hopefully will increase the efficiencies of local orchards and fruit processors.
"We believe this new facility will help many orchards in the Flathead Valley make better use of their fruit and see bigger profits by creating value-added products," said Jen DeSmul, General Manager of Kalispell Bottling Company. "The GTA grant will really help us get this project off the ground."
Gallatin Valley Botanicals will use their GTA grant to extend the growing season and expand the capacity of their specialty salad greens production near Bozeman. The proposed season extension project will enable the farm operation to nearly double their sales of more than 120 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and berries to individuals and commercial clientele.
"Through this expansion, we will be able to grow and sell more produce year round, creating more loyalty and demand for locally-grown products." said Jacy Rothschiller, co-owner of Gallatin Valley Botanicals. "We’ll also be creating new jobs within Montana's agricultural sector. It is truly a win-win for customers, local agriculture, and the state of Montana."
For a complete list of GTA grant 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 application deadline for the Growth Through Agriculture program is September 14, 2012. For more information, visit http://agr.mt.gov or contact Angie Nelson at 406-444-2042 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full list of projects funded:
- S&T Project Meats Inc.- A $30,000 grant was awarded to S&T Project Meats, Inc. to assist with the purchase of a smokehouse and stuffer equipment purchases associated with the expansion of the meat processing facility in Billings, Montana.
- Café DeCamp Inc.- A $25,000 grant was awarded to Café DeCamp, Inc. to assist with the purchase of a ventilation hood needed for the local foods‐based café’s expansion to a new location in downtown Billings, Montana.
- Dean Williamson dba Three Hearts Farm - A $7,500 grant was awarded to Three Hearts Farm to assist with the purchase of a walk‐in cooler in order to assist the vegetable producer in Bozeman, Montana to meet the demands of area institutional markets.
- Lower Valley Processing, LLC - A $30,000 grant was awarded to Lower Valley Processing, LLC to assist with the purchase of wrapping station equipment and cooler expansion costs associated with the expansion of the meat processing facility in Kalispell, Montana.
- Robarr, LLC - A $5,600 grant was awarded to assist the Conrad, Montana company with the purchase and installation of an air‐tight storage container and packaging labels needed to apply for organic handler status in order to access natural food markets for the company’s product.
- Mannix Brothers, Inc.- A $11,000 grant was awarded to Mannix Brothers, Inc. of Helmville, Montana to assist with website development, marketing and advertising costs associated with expanding the company’s grass‐finished beef product line.
- Commercial Lynks, Inc. - A $30,000 grant was awarded to Commercial Lynks, Inc. to assist with the completion of engineering design of a pulse crop processing facility in Montana.
- Kalispell Bottling Company, LLC - A $25,000 grant was awarded to Kalispell Bottling Company, LLC to assist with the purchase of
equipment for the start‐up of a fruit juice processing and bottling company in Kalispell, Montana.
- Gallatin Valley Botanical, Inc.- A $11,500 grant was awarded to Gallatin Valley Botanical, Inc. to assist with the purchase of a bed shaper, high density seeder and germination chamber needed in order to assist the salad greens producer in Bozeman, Montana with its expansion into larger markets.
- Market Day Foods, Inc.- A $7,400 grant was awarded to Market Day Foods, Inc. to assist with consultant costs to automate online ordering processes and to assist with the purchase and installation of commercial refrigeration and freezers for the online farmers’ market company in Bozeman, Montana as it connects the Gallatin Valley’s producers and consumers.
- Good Foundations, Inc. dba Hidden Legend Winery - A $5,500 grant was awarded to Good Foundations, Inc. dba Hidden Legend Winery to assist a mead (honey wine) producer in Victor, Montana with the purchase of ozone sterilization equipment.
- Wayfare Inc.- A $30,000 grant was awarded to Wayfare Inc. of Bozeman, Montana to assist with the purchase of equipment to expand the company’s production facility to include a dairy‐free frozen dessert product line.
Angie Nelson, Program Manager
Growth Through Agriculture Program
Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2402
Fax: (406) 444-9442
Published: April 27, 2012 12:36:00 PM MDT.
Last Modified: March 15, 2013 9:22:46 AM MDT