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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, Great Falls, 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


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, based in Great Falls, focuses on agri-processing and bringing new jobs to the state through the recruitment and expansion of businesses that add value to the agricultural products grown in Montana. Incorporated in 1992, the organization is a public-private partnership whose mission is to lead Great Falls and its 13-county trade area in economic development efforts to promote growth, diversification, and the creation of high wage jobs.

Eric Bergman of the Great Falls FADC.

Eric Bergman

Born and raised in Great Falls, Eric Bergman earned a BA in biology and a MEd in science education, both from The University of Montana in Missoula. Over the course of his upbringing and studies, Eric worked a series of field-based jobs in the non-profit, governmental, university, and private sectors. Upon completing his degrees, he spent several years instructing for and coordinating a cultural and natural history education program along the Rocky Mountain Front of central Montana.

Although fourth generation in the state, Eric became a first-generation farmer in 2009 when he and wife, Audra, initiated a diversified produce and livestock operation in the Sun River valley. "In addition to recognizing farming as applied biology, I was drawn to agriculture because it is a confluence of my interests in energy, economy and ecology," says Eric.

Directing the Food and Ag Development Center at Great Falls Development Authority, Eric has joined a dedicated and accomplished team. He offers, "This work is an amazing opportunity for me to help contribute to vibrant, thriving, and sustainable communities, and to our working landscapes."


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

  • 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.


Farmers Market Season Kicks Off Across Montana

Over 70 markets throughout Montana; directory available online

Farmers Market Season Kicks Off Across Montana

Helena, Mont. – With Spring weather throughout Montana kicking into high gear, farmers and ranchers are offering fresh, local produce, meats, and value-added foods at Farmers Markets throughout the state. Over 70 Farmers Markets are registered with the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) for the 2018 season and a directory is available online at Montana Farmers Markets are community events that are well attended by locals and tourists alike, as many markets host food trucks, activities for kids and families, and craft vendors in addition to local agriculture stands.

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Pulse Crop Committee Meeting Wednesday, May 30th

Meeting via conference call - join by dialing (406) 444-4647 and using access code 675894

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Pulse Crop Committee Meeting Wednesday, May 30th

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet at 10:00 am on Wednesday, May 30th via conference call. Those wishing to join by phone can join the meeting by dialing (406) 444-4647 and using access code 675894. Those unable to join via their own phone are invited to sit in on the call at the Montana Department of Agriculture (302 N. Roberts) in Conference Room 225.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. 

MDA Seeking Pest Information from Lentil Growers

What vertebrate animals have damaged your crops?

MDA Seeking Pest Information from Lentil Growers

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking to gather information from lentil growers who have, are or will be suffering damage from vertebrate pests. As part of the MDA’s vertebrate pest program, Department staff gathers information and photos related to certain pests and the damages they cause to certain crops. This information helps the Department develop training materials, which in turn are used to educate producers to help them more easily identify and manage vertebrate pests.

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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Food & Ag Development Center Forms & Files

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