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Grants & Loans

Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program


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.


Eligibility Criteria


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


The Council strongly urges applicants to contact their local economic development organization for assistance with their Growth Through Agriculture application or, 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 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:  

  • Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, January 29, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.


Targeted Areas (for Category I Economic Development Projects)

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

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


Category II: Mini Grant/Loan Projects


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 through the use of funds 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.


It is strongly recommended that potential applicants contact one of the Food and Agricultural Development Centers at least 3 to 4 weeks before the application deadline for guidance on completing an application.  This is especially important due to the large number of applications.  The application process is very competitive making it important for your proposal as competative as possible.




Apply Online:

Before you begin the application process you must be able to prove that your project expands agricultural sales and the dollar amount or percentage.


Applications for Growth Through Agriculture funding for both Category I: Economic Development Projects and Category II: Mini Grant/Loan Projects are available online. The software system is called WebGrants and applicants must be a registered user associated with an organization in WebGrants. Applicants can register and apply with WebGrants by going to fundingmt.org


For assistance regarding how to apply online for grants and loans from the Growth Through Agriculture program click here.





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: February 25, 2015 4:55:14 PM MST