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 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.

For more detailed information on the program, what is eligible for funding and what the requirements would be, click here for the GTA Program Guidelines, and refer to the "To Apply for Funding" section below.

Application Deadlines:

  • November 1, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Important Dates:

  • Match: $1 for $1 match is required for all requests for funds. Expenditures made on or after November 1, 2017 considered to meet the $1 for $1 match requirement.
  • GTA: November 1, 2018 – please be sure not to request GTA funds for project expenditures before November 1, 2018.

Technical Assistance:

  • GTA Webinar – How to Apply for a GTA Grant – August 16, 2018 9:00 am MST (the link will be posted closer to the webinar date).
  • GTA Question and Answer Call One: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 1:00 pm MST
    Call: 406-444-4647, access code: 574988
  • GTA Question and Answer Call Two: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 10:00 am MST
    Call: 406-444-4647, access code: 574988

 

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 the Food and Agricultural Development Center network, Small Business Development Center network, and their local economic development organization for assistance with their GTA application, financial projections, business and marketing plans as necessary.

Projects may potentially be funded in a single application for a maximum 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.

 

Targeted Areas for Funding

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 online at 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 the Food and Agriculture Development Center Network, Small Business Development Center network, and your local economic development organization to discuss your project and request 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.
  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 406-444-0134.

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. When logged into www.fundingmt.org click on "Grantee Instructions" and scroll down to "Status Reports" to learn more about how to use this component.

Please contact GTA program staff 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, 2019.*

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 7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative
Tara Mastel Whitehall, MT 59759 7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative
Patricia Quisno PO Box 206
Harlem, MT 59526
7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative

 

Growth Through Agriculture News

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 farmersmarkets.mt.gov. 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.

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.

Springtime Farmers Markets

Find market locations and more on the Abundant Montana Directory

Springtime Farmers Markets

Farmer's markets play a valuable role in promoting healthy communities in Montana. Find the most up-to-date information about market locations for the 2018 season at the Abundant Montana Directory, or visit our Farmer's Markets page for more info.

There are also great market listings available on the Montana Department of Commerce VisitMT.com site.

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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