Montana Restaurant Rewards Program
Helping Montana specialty crop growers sell to restaurants
Beginning October 1, 2012, the Montana Restaurant Rewards program provides restaurants with up to $1,000 in reimbursement for advertising their use of Montana specialty crops on their menus. The reimbursement for advertising is calculated as up to 50% of eligible Montana specialty crop purchases, up to $1,000.
While there is no deadline for applications, be advised that grant funds are limited; timely applications are advised.
This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service's Specialty Crop Block Grant; therefore, the funds must only be used for the promotion of specialty crops.
How the Program Works
- Restaurant completes the application, indicating the purchase of Montana specialty crops and interest in advertising restaurant's use of eligible Montana specialty crops on their menu. **PRIORITY CONSIDERATION is given to those restaurants attending one of our Montana Farm to Table Connection events.**
- The Department approves the application, determines the reimbursement percentage, up to 50%, and signs the agreement.
- Restaurant purchases eligible Montana specialty crops, documenting purchases on the Reimbursement Request or Farmers Market Reimbursement Request forms and with receipts.
- Through approved advertising media, restaurant promotes the eligible Montana specialty crops available on their menu, documenting costs with receipts.
- Restaurant requests reimbursement from the Department of up to $1,000 of approved advertising expenses by providing required reimbursement forms and receipts within 30 days of purchase.
- Department reimburses restaurant based upon documentation and in accordance with the agreement.
The documents applicable to the Montana Restaurant Rewards Program are listed below. Click on the document name to download.
- What are considered specialty crops? View the Montana Restaurant Rewards Program list of plants commonly considered for a list of eligible specialty crops.
- What are not considered specialty crops? View the Montana Restaurant Rewards Program list of plants commonly considered for a list of ineligible specialty crops.
- How do I find Grown in Montana specialty crops? Montana specialty crops can be purchased many ways. Restaurants can buy directly from the grower, either by coordinating deliveries from the farmer or purchasing from a farmers market. Restaurants can also buy from wholesalers, such as grocery stores and distributors, as long as the source can be verified as a Montana specialty crop grower. A list of Montana specialty crop growers is provided for restaurants' convenience, if relationships with local growers have not already been established.
- What if the grower I buy from isn't a Made in Montana member? For your purchases from this grower to be eligible towards your advertising reimbursement, this grower must be registered with the Made in Montana program, which can be done for free at madeinmontanausa.com.
- How is the reimbursement figured? To determine your reimbursement, the Department reviews your application, using the Rubric on page 3 to determine your reimbursement percentage, up to 50%. The 50% reimbursement will be figured from your purchases of Montana specialty crops, but the reimbursed funds must go towards paying for up to $1,000 worth of advertising. For example, if your reimbursement percentage is 50%, and you purchase $2,000 worth of Montana specialty crops from October 2012 - September 2013, you can get reimbursed for up to $1,000 of eligible advertising expenses.
- How can I be sure to get the full 50% reimbursement, up to $1,000? The more Montana specialty crops you purchase, and the more you advertise their use, the higher your reimbursement rate. Check the Rubric on page 3 of the application for a guide on maximizing your reimbursement percentage.
- How many times can I get reimbursed? There is no limit to how many times you can be reimbursed, but you may only receive a maximum total reimbursement of $1,000.
- How often can I be reimbursed? Though we encourage monthly reimbursement requests, restaurants may request reimbursement when needed, not to exceed the $1,000 limit.
- What types of advertising are eligible? Check our Advertising Guidelines for guidance.
- Are there guidelines for the advertisement? The advertisement must only promote Montana specialty crops and the restaurant. Additional items promoted in the advertisement may make it ineligible for reimbursement. View the provided Advertising Guidelines for more information, or contact staff (see below).
- How do I get the Made in Montana or Grown in Montana logo? Register your restaurant with the Made in Montana program, and the Made in Montana or Grown in Montana logos are available to you, free of charge.
Additional questions? Contact our staff (see below).
Published: August 3, 2012 1:40:00 PM MDT.
Last Modified: February 8, 2016 9:40:21 AM MST