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The Montana Food and Agricultural Development Center (FADC) Network logo.

The Montana Food and Agricultural Development Center (FADC) Network helps Montanans innovate and grow businesses that produce and commercialize food, agricultural and renewable energy products and processes, creating wealth and jobs in our communities and on our farms and ranches. The centers - located in Joliet, Havre, Butte, and Ronan - operate as a statewide network serving community-based businesses throughout Montana.

The centers support economic development by ensuring that more of the state's food, agricultural and energy dollars circulate in Montana. The network provides training, coaching and technical assistance, including:

  • Product development, testing and analysis
  • Regulatory compliance training
  • Food processing
  • Business planning and development
  • Market research
  • Business networking
  • Access to financing
  • Cooperative development
  • Education on industry dynamics and technologies

Click on the Business Spotlights tab below for stories of businesses that use Montana agricultural products.


This center, based in Havre, is operated by Bear Paw Development Corporation and focuses on renewable energy in partnership with Montana State University-Northern.

Successful projects include food processing, biofuels and biolubricants, timber processing, wind energy, high-value crop production, greenhouse construction, and other value-added industries.

Bear Paw Development Corporation is committed to making northern Montana a better place to raise a family and make a living by focusing our resources on business financing, entrepreneurial training, infrastructure development and community planning.

Contact the center for information related to product development, regulatory compliance, and other assistance in developing new products from farm to market, as well as information on farm-based energy production and other value-added agricultural enterprises.

Taylor Lyon of the Bear Paw Development Corporation in Havre, Montana.

Taylor Lyon

Taylor Lyon, originally from the gulf coast of Texas, moved to Helena, Montana in 2005 to pursue a degree in Biology from Carroll College. Though his studies, he discovered the fascinating world of renewable and alternative energy, more specifically, sustainably produced biofuels. This newfound passion led him to become a researcher at MSU-Northern’s Bio-Energy Center, where he developed technical and policy expertise surrounding Montana’s alternative energy scene. Following his tenure at MSU-Northern, Taylor was introduced, and attracted to the issues surrounding food and agriculture in Montana via UM’s Environmental Studies Master’s program.

Being a part-time entrepreneur and business owner himself, Taylor is no stranger to the thrill that comes with earning that "first dollar of profit", but also understands the sometimes daunting hurdles prospective business owners can face. Drawing on this experience, Taylor is excited to lend a helping hand creating business plans, connecting producers to markets, securing resources, and much more for the great people of North-Central Montana and beyond. Most of all though, Taylor wants to help people "build a contagious momentum of success, a momentum that inspires others to turn their dreams into reality."

This food and agricultural development center, based in Joliet, is operated by Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development Area. They offer assistance with value-added businesses including farm-derived energy and food projects and efficiency testing of seedstock cattle.

Established in 1969, the Beartooth RC&D serves as a regional entity for the cooperative efforts of five counties in Southcentral Montana in rural and economic development. Leadership is composed of elected officials and community leaders from the counties, incorporated towns and cities, conservation districts and tribal reservations in the region.

Joel Bertolino of the Beartooth FADC in Joliet, Montana.

Joel Bertolino

Meet Joel Bertolino, a fourth-generation Montanan who grew up on a "typical Montana ranch" just south of Roberts. He has continued his family’s tradition of agriculture by working for the USDA Farm Service Agency for seven years, then becoming director of the Food and Agriculture Development Center at Beartooth Resource Conservation & Development in 2009. Joel specializes in the business, marketing, and financial aspects of running a business. With his background in production agriculture, he is able to assist businesses in a variety of ways. He has a solid knowledge of the tools and opportunities available to start-ups, as well as expanding businesses.

Joel enjoys working with many diverse and innovative ag-related industries. "It’s never the same. Every project is different and we all learn a lot." Joel encourages his clients to ask him for help regardless of their situation. "Our Food and Ag Development Center network has a lot of knowledge and resources at their disposal. If I don’t have the answer to a client’s question, I’ll do the research and find the answer."

This center, operated by Headwaters RC&D Area, Inc., serves a seven-county region based in Butte, with a part-time office in Dillon. The center offers business services and technical resources for value-added agriculture and local food project development as well as agricultural sector energy efficiency and alternative energy development.

The center has worked closely with business start-ups and expanding businesses across Southwest Montana to start, grow, and strengthen their business by offering technical assistance with business planning, marketing, and product development.

Successful business start-ups in the Headwaters region include Quarry Brewery and Head Frame Spirits.

Headwaters RC&D Area, Inc. has a long standing history of working to support and improve the quality of life and economic sustainability in this region by focusing its resources on business financing, entrepreneurial training, infrastructure development and community planning. Contact the Headwaters RC&D's Food and Agriculture Development Center for more information relating to your food, agriculture or energy related project.

From aiding in the creation of a business plan to providing technical assistance to community groups, Headwaters RC&D is improving the economic and social well-being of the Southwest Montana region through conservation, development, and proper use of natural and human resources. We provide technical assistance for natural resource, community development, and economic development projects and programs.

Joe Willauer of the Headwaters RC&D Food & Ag Center in Butte, Montana.

Joe Willauer

Joe Willauer, originally from eastern Washington, has been surrounded by agriculture his whole life. With a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a love for fly fishing, it was only natural that he should settle in Twin Bridges, Montana and become the Food and Agriculture Development Center manager at Headwaters RC&D in 2013. According to Joe, the planning process for a city is similar to that of a small business, so his transition has been an easy one. Joe also has experience in online marketing, including website building and social media.

Joe helps clients hone in on what they want their business to become, then provides them with assistance in business, financial, and marketing planning. His favorite part about being a Food and Ag Center Director is working with the clients. "The amount of passion, drive and determination shown by our clients makes me excited to help them with their business," says Joe. "Each of our clients is an entrepreneur, and full of awesome ideas. Their energy level for their business is contagious, and it is very rewarding to be able to work with people who have this buzz."

The Food & Agricultural Development Center in Ronan operates as a division of Lake County Community Development Corporation under Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center.

The center, which includes food processing facilities, serves as a multi-dimensional local, regional and statewide development resource that has influenced changes in the value chain from farm and ranch production, to food innov­ation processing, to distribution of local food and finally to the consumers' plates

The purse of the center is to:

  • assist in development of food and value-added agricultural business;
  • collaborate in statewide efforts to increase Montana's capacity to produce food, farm-derived renewable energy and other value-added agricultural products;
  • and enhance local food system development within our local communities.

Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center offers:

  • Food product and market testing & development
  • Food safety
  • Food labeling, packaging development & sourcing
  • Processing for farm-to-cafeteria markets
  • Food business assistance & co-op development
  • Guidance on organic certification
  • Food Science Technical Assistance

Contact the center for information related to product development, regulatory compliance, and other assistance in developing new products from farm to market. The center also has information regarding farm-based energy production and other value-added agricultural enterprises.

Jan Tusick of the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center in Ronan, Montana.

Jan Tusick

Jan Tusick, the director of the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center in Ronan, has a degree in Agricultural Science and more than 30 years of solving problems in food and agriculture enterprise development. In addition to assisting with business and marketing plans, Jan’s areas of expertise include cooperative development, food safety, and farm to institution programs.

The Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center is Montana’s first community-based food processing center, with 13,000 square feet of production space, laboratory, cold storage, and warehouse. "Our facility is unique, in that it gives people the ability to start manufacturing food on a big scale," says Jan. Helping people develop business plans, scale up their recipes, create new labeling, gain access to funding, and take their dreams to the next level is very rewarding. "What I do isn’t work," affirms Tusick. "It’s more of a passion and a lifestyle than a job. In a nutshell, we at Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center are excited about the work we do."

Food Safety Trainings

Check back for upcoming training opportunities!

Montana Resources

Business Resources

Food and Bioenergy

Food Regulations and Entrepreneurship

Food Security Resources

  • World Hunger Year's (WHY) Food Security Learning Center brings you into the food security movement that shows how our food system is connected, how our food grows, how it is processed, who grows it, what we eat, where it comes from, who goes hungry and why.
  • FoodSecurity.Org: A good source of food policy information provided by the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC), a non-profit organization that provides resources to help build strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times.

The Montana Food Infrastructure Map was an interactive, online map that enabled Montana’s local food system stakeholders to understand and prioritize the gaps in our regional and statewide food value chains, and to identify the opportunities for filling those gaps. This map was the product of a three-year, statewide collaborative project. Project partners included: Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana State University, Montana Farmers Union, Grow Montana, AERO (Alternative Energy Resources Organization), Lake County Community Development Corporation’s Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, Montana State Library’s Geographic Information Center, and Montana USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

At this time, the Montana Department of Agriculture is no longer maintaining this resource. However, the Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO) has developed a resource called the Abundant Montana Directory that contains similar information. Please visit the AERO site to learn more about food infrastructure and agritourism in Montana.


Visit the
Abundant Montana Directory
& Interactive Map

Abundant Montana is a connection to the land, to our neighbors, and to those committed to using locally-grown food in their businesses. How our food is produced and the distance it travels determines the prosperity of our communities and the health of our landscapes.


Montana Food Show 2017: Buyer Registration available online

The show will take place on Tuesday October 10, 2017 in Bozeman

Montana Food Show 2017: Buyer Registration available online
Welcome to the Montana Food Show! Join us for our first annual Food and Beverage Tradeshow that will showcase 60 local Montana produce, meat, food, and spirit companies from every corner of our great state. Buyers can now register online (vendor registration coming soon) - click here for more info.

Ag Development Council extends GTA program deadline

Deadline extended to November 15, 2017

Ag Development Council extends GTA program deadline

Helena, Mont. – The Agriculture Development Council met last week and voted to extend the deadline for the popular Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program, from September 15, 2017 to November 15, 2017. The deadline was extended to allow more time for producers to apply for funding.

Montana Department of Agriculture releases 2017 edition of Grown in Montana: Farming and Ranching Under the Big Sky

Magazine highlights Montana’s diverse agriculture industry

Montana Department of Agriculture releases 2017 edition of Grown in Montana: Farming and Ranching Under the Big Sky

Helena, Mont. – The 2017 edition of Grown in Montana: Farming and Ranching Under the Big Sky is now available. The magazine highlights Montana’s agriculture industry and the people who power it. From the continued growth of Montana’s value-added sector, to the state’s flourishing distilleries, to the challenges of estate and succession planning, the magazine covers numerous topics related to Montana agriculture.

Food and Agriculture Development Center Program
Phone : (406) 444-0134
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9442
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

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