Montana Department of Agriculture logo

Rycom Transit Services in Sunburst, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

The Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program is a grant and loan program established by the Montana Legislature to strengthen and diversify Montana's agricultural industry through development of new agricultural products and processes. The GTA program is administered by the Montana Department of Agriculture with counsel from the Agriculture Development Council.

 

Application Deadlines:

  • Friday, September 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ... DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED
    Extended Deadline: November 15, 2017

The GTA program will begin reviewing applications as of September 15, 2017; however, the Agriculture Development Council will continue to accept applications until November 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Reimbursement for applications will be considered from the Council from September 15, 2017, and documentation of matching funds will be considered from November 15, 2016.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be sure not to request GTA funds for any project expenditures before September 15, 2017.

 

Bausch Potatoes of Whitehall, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

Eligibility Criteria:

The Council may make a grant or loan if it determines a project is consistent with the goals of the Growth Through Agriculture Act. Projects should primarily add value to Montana's agricultural products and have the potential to create and/or retain jobs in Montana.

BEFORE beginning the application process, the applicant should be able to document exactly how the project will expand Montana agriculture. The growth could be measurable either in terms of increased sales (by dollar amount or percentage) or in number of jobs created.

The Council strongly urges applicants to contact their local economic development organization for assistance with their GTA application and, as necessary, with business and marketing plans. These organizations include the Small Business Development Center network and, specifically for food product or farm-based energy business development, the Food and Agricultural Development Center network.

Projects may potentially be funded in a single application for a total amount of $150,000 in the form of grant funding up to $50,000 and loan funding up to $100,000. Examples of project activities involve equipment purchases, advertising and promotion, and consultant services such as engineering costs. A $1 for $1 match is required for all proposals.

Application Deadlines:

  • Friday, September 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ... DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED
    Extended Deadline: November 15, 2017

The GTA program will begin reviewing applications as of September 15, 2017; however, the Agriculture Development Council will continue to accept applications until November 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Reimbursement for applications will be considered from the Council from September 15, 2017, and documentation of matching funds will be considered from November 15, 2016.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be sure not to request GTA funds for any project expenditures before September 15, 2017.

Targeted Areas for Category I: Economic Development Projects

The Council designated the following areas to be eligible for consideration for 0% interest rate loans:

  • Businesses expanding or adding value to Montana commodities, and
  • Businesses transitioning beyond direct sales/farmers markets.

Apply Online:

Applications for Growth Through Agriculture funding are available online through WebGrants. Applicants must be a registered user associated with an organization. Register and apply with WebGrants by visiting www.fundingmt.org.


Instructions for Completing a GTA Application:

  1. Read the GTA Program Guidelines in order to determine whether or not your project is eligible and learn more about the details of the program to begin the GTA application process.
  2. Contact your local economic development organization, Small Business Development Center or, specifically for food product or farm-based energy development, the Food and Agricultural Development Center network to discuss your project and get assistance in applying for your Growth Through Agriculture grant or loan.
  3. Register and Apply Online: Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) applications are available online at fundingmt.org. You may contact program staff to discuss your proposal by email at gta@mt.gov or by phone at 406-444-0511.
  4. Register with the Montana Secretary of State. If your company is not already registered with the Montana Secretary of State, you may need to do so before going further with the application process. Organizations other than Sole Proprietorships must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State prior to submittal of the GTA application. Any application from an organization that is not registered with the Montana Secretary of State will not be accepted.
  5. Complete an application. Go to fundingmt.org and login with your username and password. Go through the following steps to open and begin an application:
    • Select "Funding Opportunities" from the menu list.
    • Select the most appropriate funding opportunity under "Opportunity Title."
    • To open an application, click "Start a New Application."
  6. Prepare Financial Statements. Prepare a cash flow statement using the spreadsheet form (.xlsx format) below, projected to a point of positive cash flow and profitability, and a balance sheet to accompany your application. All applications must include: a cash flow statement, a current and projected balance sheet, and a list of all key financial assumptions (.doc format). The list of key assumptions should provide the basis for all major financial projections. Any application that does not include these items in the prescribed form will not be accepted.
  7. Credit Check Release Form. This form must be received by the application deadline. Complete the form and submit by fax or mail to:

    GTA Program
    Montana Department of Agriculture
    P.O. Box 200201
    Helena, Montana 59620-0201
    Fax: 406-444-9442

For assistance, please contact GTA program staff at gta@mt.gov or 406-444-0511.

Pioneer Meats of Big Timber, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

Grant and Loan Reporting

Semi-annual reports are required of all applicants who accept either a GTA grant or loan award. These are due on the dates set forth in the award contract until the project is complete, at which time a comprehensive final report is due.

These semi-annual and final reports are required to be filled out through the WebGrants system at fundingmt.org. Use the same user ID and password issued during registration to apply for Growth Through Agriculture funding. Click on "Grantee Instructions" and scroll down to "Status Reports" to learn more about how to use this component.

Please contact Lindy Davies, Program Specialist, using the information listed on this page if you have further questions about the program or reporting processes.

Lee McAlpine of Montana CiderWorks in Sula, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

*NOTE: There will be no further Mini Grant/Mini Loan funding through June 30, 2018.*

The Growth Through Agriculture Mini Grant/Loan program (Mini Grant/Loan program) is a branch of the Montana Growth Through Agriculture program and was authorized by the 2009 Montana Legislature to encourage economic and agricultural development.

Linda O'Brien of RoBarr in Conrad, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

Montana Agriculture Development Council

The Agriculture Development Council establishes policies and priorities to enhance the future development of agriculture in Montana including the award of loans and grants offered through the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program.

The committee is appointed by the Governor and composed of seven members. Board members serve three-year terms. For additional information about Governor appointed Boards and Councils, visit the Boards, Councils & Commissions website from Montana.Gov.

Board Members

Name Contact Info Term End Qualifications
Director Ben Thomas Dept. of Agriculture
PO Box 200201
Helena, MT 49620
agr@mt.gov
  Agriculture Director, Statutory Appointment
Director Pam Haxby-Cote Dept. of Commerce
PO Box 200501
Helena, MT 59620
commerce.mt.gov/Contact
  Commerce Director, Statutory Appointment
Greg Jergeson PO Box 1568
Chinook, MT 59523
7/1/2019 Agriculture Representative
Amy Kellogg 442 5th Avenue East
Kalispell, MT 59901
7/1/2019 Agriculture Representative
Lars Hanson Edgar, MT 59026 7/1/2017 Agriculture Representative
Tara Mastel Whitehall, MT 59759 7/1/2017 Agriculture Representative
Patricia Quisno PO Box 206
Harlem, MT 59526
7/1/2017 Agriculture Representative

 

Growth Through Agriculture News

MDA Expanding Hay Lottery, Taking Donations

Lottery application deadline is September 30, 2017

MDA Expanding Hay Lottery, Taking Donations

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has announced the expansion of the Montana Hay Lottery. MDA is partnering with Miles Community College to house the donated hay and help with logistics and the Montana Stockgrowers Foundation to help coordinate cash donations to be used for transportation costs. The lottery will be administered by MDA, with drawings taking place in early October.  Producers who have already applied for the lottery, but were not chosen in the first drawing, will still be eligible for subsequent drawings.

MWBC Partners to Host Ag Technology Roundtable

MWBC Partners to Host Ag Technology Roundtable

Bozeman, Mont.— The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee (MWBC) has partnered with the German American Chamber of Commerce to host a roundtable discussion of agricultural technologies on September 14th at 1:00PM at the GranTree Inn in Bozeman.  

MDA launches Agriculture Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline

Resources and prgroams to help affected ag producers

MDA launches Agriculture Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline

Helena, Mont. – As drought conditions worsen and fires burn throughout the state, the Montana Department of Agriculture has launched the Agriculture Fire and Drought Assistance Hotline. The hotline will serve as a tool to help connect those affected to available resources, programs and donations, as well as to provide information on how others can help. Questions related to hay/feed donations, livestock, fencing, and transportation can be directed to the hotline. The hotline number is 1-844-515-1571 and the line will be staffed 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. 

Click here for more resources, programs and links to assist those affected by fire and drought.

Growth Through Agriculture Program
Phone : (406) 444-0134
E-mail : gta@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9442
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Growth Through Agriculture Forms & Files

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