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.
- 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, 2017.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 406-444-0511.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- Credit Check Release Form. This form must be received by the application deadline. Complete the form and submit by fax or mail to:
Montana Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 200201
Helena, Montana 59620-0201
For assistance, please contact GTA program staff at email@example.com or 406-444-0511.