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Grants & Loans

Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program

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Program Summary


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.


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 should 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.


Category I: Economic Development Projects


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 and feasibility studies. A $1 for $1 match is required for all proposals.


 Application Deadlines:  

  • Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, September 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.


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.


Category II: Mini Grant, Mini Loan, and Trade Show Assistance Program


Mini Grant Projects may be funded a maximum amount of $2,500 for any single application. The Mini Grant program was developed to encourage economic and agricultural development through education, promotion, marketing, and travel.  For-profit business applicants requesting Mini Grant funding for conferences are ineligible for travel and educational activities unless otherwise specified by the Council.


Deadlines: Applications for Mini Grant projects will be accepted June 1st at 2:00 p.m. and December 1st at 2:00 p.m. of this year until all available funds are committed to approved projects.


Mini Loan Projects may be funded a maximum amount of $5,000 for any single application. The Mini Loan program was designed to foster economic and agricultural growth for small processing equipment, construction, infrastructure costs and inventory/working capital costs (excluding payroll).  A 0% interest loan with 6-month deferral is available to for-profit businesses for marketing, promotional, travel and educational activities.


Deadline: Applications for Mini Loan projects will be accepted on an open-cycle basis until all available funds are committed to approved projects.


A $1 for $1 match is required for all Mini Grant and Mini Loan proposals.


The Trade Show Assistance Program (TSAP) aids qualified Montana agricultural companies with developing new and existing markets by supplementing exhibiting costs at U.S. wholesale trade shows. TSAP support includes reimbursement for 50% of booth space and related exhibiting expenses, such as shipping and show services (drayage, decorating, electricity, etc.) up to $2,500.


Due to the large number and competitive nature of applications, it is strongly recommended that potential applicants contact one of the Food and Agricultural Development Centers at least 4 weeks before the application deadline for guidance on completing an application.




Apply Online:


Applications for Growth Through Agriculture funding for both Category I and Category II 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.


For online GTA application instructions,  visit the New Applications page.





Growth Through Agriculture Program
Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-0511
E-mail: gta@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-9442

Lindy Davies, Program Specialist

Growth Through Agriculture Program
Phone: (406) 444-0511


Published: June 22, 2011 2:50:00 PM MDT.
Last Modified: May 5, 2016 9:16:38 AM MDT