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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:


Important Dates

Date Time Deadline/Event
June 2019   Funding opportunity posted at www.fundingmt.org.
August 14, 2019 10:00 a.m. Webinar* - Click here to view or download a copy of the webinar presentation in PDF format.
Click here to view a video of the webinar on MDA's YouTube channel.
October 8, 2019 1:00 p.m. Open Question and Answer Conference Call/Webinar #1* - Call in number: 406-444-4647 Conference ID: 1911561 If you are asked for a pin number, do not enter one, just stay on the line and you will be joined to the audio for the webinar.
Join on Skype for Business using this link: https://rtchelena.mt.gov/meet/jauer/QJ54208C. If you do not already have it, you will need the Skype for Business web browser plugin, which can be downloaded by clicking on the link above and accepting the plugin when prompted.
October 22, 2019 10:00 a.m. Open Question and Answer Conference Call/Webinar #2* - Call in number: 406-444-4647 Conference ID: 8943672 If you are asked for a pin number, do not enter one, just stay on the line and you will be joined to the audio for the webinar.
Join on Skype for Business using this link: https://rtchelena.mt.gov/meet/jauer/QJ54208C. If you do not already have it, you will need the Skype for Business web browser plugin, which can be downloaded by clicking on the link above and accepting the plugin when prompted.
October 27, 2019 5:00 p.m. Deadline for Material Verification on www.fundingmt.org.
November 1, 2019 2:00 p.m. Application deadline at www.fundingmt.org.
November - December 2019   Council proposal review and scoring.
December 2019   Council invitations sent to scoring applicants by email and letter.
February 4-5, 2020   Agriculture Council Review Meeting at the Montana Department of Agriculture in Helena.
March 1, 2020 5:00 p.m. Expected announcement of selected applications by mail and email.

All times in Mountain Standard Time.


Technical Assistance:


Growth Through Agriculture News

Pulse Growers Question FDA Report Linking Dog Food Containing Pulses to Hear Condition

By Russell Nemetz – Montana Ag Network

Pulse Growers Question FDA Report Linking Dog Food Containing Pulses to Hear Condition

Like other farmers, trade wars and tariffs are hurting pulse crop farmers financially. And now pulse growers and some pet food companies are also losing business because of a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report linking pulse crops in dog food as a possible cause of enlarged heart disease in some dogs.

The FDA has been looking for more than a year into dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy or DCM which is effectively an enlarged heart disease. However, pulse growers like Chester’s Jillien Streit say FDA overstepped its bounds in drawing a direct link to specific pet food ingredients in a sample size of 560 cases out of a dog population of roughly 77 million.

“The issue that we take with this as pulse growers in Montana is as we continue to look into this, because, of course, you know, everyone's concerned” said Streit. “You don't want anyone's dog to have any issues and we don't want our products to be hurting anything. So, we start looking into this and we see that there's some really questionable issues with this particular report.”

She says the FDA’s report is hurting the market for pulses like peas and lentils which has already been damaged by ongoing trade wars.

Oilseed Growers Petition MDA to Create Advisory Committee

Meeting set for December 3, 2019 in Great Falls

Oilseed Growers Petition MDA to Create Advisory Committee

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has received a verified petition from 25 Montana oilseed growers to create an advisory committee.  MDA will hold a listening session to receive additional grower input regarding the proposal in Great Falls on December 3rd.  Meeting information is provided below.​

Oilseed Listening Session

  • December 3, 2019 – Great Falls, MT
  • 10:00 am – Heritage Inn, Room 201 (1700 Fox Farm Rd.)

Growers will have the opportunity to learn about the process for creating a commodity advisory committee and provide input regarding its composition, crops to be included, and rate of assessment.  Based on feedback received during the meeting, MDA will decide whether to propose an oilseed research and market development program for adoption by administrative rule.

Montana is a leading producer of oilseeds including canola, flaxseed and safflower. Canola production is forecast to total more than 210 million pounds in 2019 which is a 62 percent increase from Montana’s 2018 crop according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

MDA currently administers the Montana Potato Advisory Committee and the Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee along with the statutorily enabled Montana Wheat and Barley Committee and Montana Pulse Crop Committee. In total, these programs annually contribute over $8 million in checkoff funds towards research, marketing, and education.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. 

MT Pulse Growers Excited About New Opportunities in Colombia

By Russell Nemetz – Montana Ag Network

MT Pulse Growers Excited About New Opportunities in Colombia

Montana continues to lead the nation in pulse crop production. And as demand grows for food products made with pulses like peas, lentils and chickpeas, finding new international markets is important for Montana pulse growers. And an emerging market for Montana pulses in Colombia.

“The Spanish word for it is 'ritmo' which is rhythm and vibe and Colombia is really good,” said Montana Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Officer Weston Merrill. “They love American made products and American grown products.”

He says the South American country is an exciting opportunity for Montana pulse growers.

Growth Through Agriculture Program
Phone : (406) 444-2402
E-mail : gta@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9442
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601