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Combines at work in the Gallatin Valley of Montana.

The department offers the following grant and loan opportunities for agriculture-related enterprises. Contact MDA for application assistance, or to request information about additional programs and opportunities.

  • Commodity Crop Development Programs are available for Alfalfa Seed, Cherries, Pulse Crops (Peas, Lentils & Chickpeas), Potatoes, and Wheat & Barley.
  • Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) offers investments for new and innovative agribusiness developments or agriculture marketing programs. The Agriculture Development Council, which consists of representatives from industry and government, reviews applications and selects successful projects for GTA investments.
  • Junior Agriculture Loans assist and encourage members of agricultural youth organizations in financing agricultural projects when funding is unavailable from other sources. Projects can involve crop and livestock production, custom farming, marketing, processing and other financially feasible projects.
  • Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grants were established by the 1985 Montana Legislature to provide funding for the development and implementation of weed management programs. The trust fund also supports research and development of innovative weed management techniques including biological controls, and funds research and education projects.
  • Rural Assistance Loans are available to producers with modest financial investments in agriculture. These loans finance agricultural enterprises to enhance producers' operations and assist in the economic growth and welfare of Montana agriculture.
    • Beginning Farm & Ranch Loans are available from a tax-exempt bond program that aids financial institutions in assisting Montana's beginning farmers and ranchers. Loans can be used to purchase agricultural land and other depreciable agricultural property.
  • State Tax Deduction for Sale of Agricultural Land : Sellers of agricultural land may obtain up to $50,000 in state tax-deductions against capital gains and other earnings associated with the sale of land to a qualified beginning farmer or rancher if it complies with other statutory requirements. The deduction may be claimed over several years against state taxes only, but may not exceed the maximum amount of $50,000. Download the Application Form for a State Tax Deduction for Sale of Agricultural Land.
  • Specialty Crop Block Grants offer grant funds to Montana's specialty crop industry solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Montana: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Funds are provided from the federal USDA Farm Bill.

Grant & Loan News

MDA awards over $1.6 million in Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grants

MDA awards over $1.6 million in Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grants

Grants provide funding for noxious weed management programs

Helena, Mont. - Counties, conservation districts, local communities, tribes, researchers and educators across Montana will have more resources in the battle against noxious weeds after the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded over $1.6 million in grants from the Noxious Weed Trust Fund.

The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council reviewed 74 Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant applications requesting more than $1.7 million and recommended awards totaling more than $1.6 million for education, research, and cooperative noxious weed management projects.  In total, 70 grant proposals were approved for funding awards, including 49 local cooperative projects, 10 research projects, and 11 education projects. 

“Noxious weeds are one of the biggest threats facing Montana’s lands today,” said MDA Director, Ben Thomas. “The importance of these grants can’t be understated; these groups are the boots on the ground in the war against noxious weeds and we will continue to make these efforts a priority.”

In addition to the $1.6 million grant hearing awards, each of the 56 counties and 7 reservations in the state are eligible to receive $7,500 per year, bringing the 2017 awards to more than $2 million.  A compiled list of award recipients is available at

The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant program was established by the Montana Legislature in 1985.  The advisory council reviews applications, hears applicant testimony, and provides funding recommendations to the director for final approval. Funding is typically passed through a governmental organization, local weed district, conservation district, extension office, or university. 

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



Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Phone: (406) 444-3144
Fax: (406) 444-5409

Grant & Loan Forms & Files

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