Montana Department of Agriculture logo

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

Montana Cherry Growers Vote to Eliminate Checkoff Program

Montana Cherry Growers Vote to Eliminate Checkoff Program

Growers vote in favor of elimination by 3 to 1 margin

Helena, Mont. –  Montana cherry growers have voted to eliminate the Montana Cherry Research & Market Development Program. The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) will now take the necessary steps to eliminate the checkoff program.

“With 75 percent of the cherry growers voting in favor of elimination, the Department’s directive is clear and we will begin eliminating the program immediately,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas.

After a September 14, 2017 public hearing where feedback on both sides of the issue was heard, a ballot referendum was sent by mail to over 100 Montana cherry growers. MDA received 69 completed ballots, with the final vote tally being 52-17 in favor of elimination. MDA will repeal all rules and administrative policies and procedures associated with the program. Per 80-11-513, MCA, any remaining checkoff funds will now revert to the state’s general fund.

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

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Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Phone: (406) 444-3144
E-mail: agr@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-5409

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