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 the development of new agricultural products and processes. Examples of eligible project activities involve equipment purchases, construction costs, advertising and promotion, and consultant services for engineering. The GTA program is administered by the Agriculture Development Council (Council) which is attached to the Department of Agriculture.

Award Amounts:

  • Grants up to $50,000
  • Loans up to $100,000

 *Please NOTE - this will be the only application deadline for Growth Through Agriculture for fiscal year 2021 (July 2020 - June 2021).*

It is recommended that you begin working on your application as early as possible. For assistance in planning your project and working on your application, please contact your local Food and Agriculture Development Center Network www.foodandag.mt.gov or Small Business Development Center sbdc.mt.gov by September 1, 2020 for the best possible assistance.

Application Deadlines:

  • Funding Opportunity Open: July 22, 2020
  • Deadline for Confirmation Check*: November 30, 2020 at 5:00 P.M.
    * If you would like to receive confirmation from the Department prior to the deadline that all items have been received before the deadline, submit your application by no later than November 30 to allow time to check for completion and time to respond to any technical issues you may have prior to the application deadline.
  • Application Deadline: December 7, 2020 at 2:00 P.M.
  • Click here to apply

Important Dates

Date Time Event Venue
Wednesday, July 22   Post Funding Opportunity www.gta.mt.gov and www.funding.mt.gov
Wednesday, August 19 1:00 p.m. Open Question and Answer Call #1

Join Zoom Meeting
or +1 406 444 9999
Meeting ID: 960 306 7171

Tuesday, October 27 1:00 p.m. Open Question and Answer Call #2

Join Zoom Meeting
or +1 406 444 9999
Meeting ID: 960 306 7171

Monday, November 23 1:00 p.m. Open Question and Answer Call #3

Join Zoom Meeting
or +1 406 444 9999
Meeting ID: 960 306 7171

Monday, November 30 5:00 p.m. Deadline for Material Verification funding.mt.gov
Monday, December 7 2:00 p.m. Application Deadline funding.mt.gov
January 2021   Council Invitations Sent to Applicants Mail and Email
February 2021 TBD Agriculture Council Review Meeting MT Department of Agriculture - Helena
March 2021   Expected Announcement of Awarded Applicants Mail and Email

All times in Mountain Standard Time.

Technical Assistance:

To Apply for Funding

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 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 the Food and Agricultural Development Center network, Small Business Development Center network, and their local economic development organization for assistance with their GTA application, financial projections, business and marketing plans as necessary.

Projects may potentially be funded in a single application for a maximum 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.

Targeted Areas for Funding:

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

  • Businesses expanding or investing in commodity processing infrastructure; and
  • Projects utilizing new or innovative solutions to diversify, add value, or provide substantial growth opportunities and resiliency for Montana’s agricultural economy or food security.

Apply Online:

Applications for Growth Through Agriculture funding are available online through WebGrants. Applicants must be a registered user associated with an organization. Register and apply online at funding.mt.gov.

Instructions for Completing a GTA Application:

  1. 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.
  2. Contact the Food and Agriculture Development Center Network, Small Business Development Center network, and your local economic development organization to discuss your project and request assistance in applying for your Growth Through Agriculture grant or loan.
  3. Register and Apply Online: Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) applications are available online at funding.mt.gov.
  4. 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.
  5. Complete an application. Go to funding.mt.gov 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."
  6. 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.
  7. Credit Check Release Form. This form must be received by the application deadline. Complete the form and submit by fax or mail to: GTA Program
    Montana Department of Agriculture
    P.O. Box 200201
    Helena, Montana 59620-0201
    Fax: 406-444-9442

If you have questions, email gta@mt.gov.

Growth Through Agriculture News

USDA Value-Added Producer Grants Available - Applications due March 22, 2021

Workshop and Open Office: February 17, 2021

USDA Value-Added Producer Grants Available - Applications due March 22, 2021

The USDA Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase producer income.

Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on Grants.gov.

Click Here to learn more and apply. Applications are due no later than March 22, 2021. Please refer to the Federal Register Notices for more information on the deadline and various ways the Agency will accept applications.

Documents to download

Junior Ag Loans Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Loans up to $8,500 available to young Montana farmers and ranchers

Junior Ag Loans Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Montana youth ages 21 and under may be eligible for up to $8,500 in loan financing through the Montana Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Junior Agriculture Loan Program.

“With the average age of farmers and ranchers being nearly 60 years old, supporting the next generation is vital to Montana’s livelihood,” said MDA Director Mike Foster. “The Junior Ag Loan Program plays an important role in connecting young people who are passionate about pursuing projects in agriculture with the financing they need to get started.”

Click here to learn more about the Junior Ag Loan Program and apply. 

Documents to download

Montana Agriculture Development Council Meeting

February 17 - 19, 2021

Montana Agriculture Development Council Meeting

The Agriculture Development Council will meet virtually Wednesday, February 17th through Friday, February 19th. See attached agenda for order of events. 

To receive information to join the virtual meetings, please email a request to agr@mt.gov or call (406) 444-0134.

The Agriculture Development Council establishes policies and priorities to enhance the future development of agriculture in Montana including the award of loans and grants offered through the Growth Through Agriculture program. Click here to learn more about the Agriculture Development Council. 

Documents to download

Growth Through Agriculture Program
Phone : (406) 444-0134
E-mail : gta@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9442
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601