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2020 GROWTH THROUGH AGRICULTURE PROGRAM

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

Made in Montana Exhibitor Registration Opens May 19th

Made in Montana Tradeshow will take place in Helena September 10 - 11, 2021

Made in Montana Exhibitor Registration Opens May 19th

The Made in Montana Tradeshow for food and gifts will take place in Helena at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds on September 10 - 11th, 2021--all Grown in Montana members are encouraged to apply!

On Friday, September 10th, exhibitors will have the opportuntity to connect with wholesale buyers. Saturday, September 11th, the public is invited to attend and exhibitors will sell directly to consumers at retail prices. 

Exhibitor registration opens up on May 19th. Click here to learn more and apply to participate as an exhibitor. 

Registration Open for Free "Communicating for the Farm" Webinar Series

MSU Extension and Purdue Extension hosting webinar series to help ag producers engage with the public and share their story

Registration Open for Free "Communicating for the Farm" Webinar Series

Montana State University Extension Pondera County and Purdue Extension – Bartholomew County are teaming up to provide a webinar series dedicated to helping agricultural producers improve their agriculture communication skills. Adriane Good, from MSU Extension, and Cora Carter, from Purdue Extension, noticed that many farmers and ranchers want to engage with the public and share their story but have difficulties doing so. This webinar series aims to help producers with that, giving them the skills to communicate effectively and present themselves professionally online when engaging with a non-agricultural based public.

  • May 13: Media Literacy & Critical Thinking - Beth Forbes, Purdue University
  • May 20: Communication & Engagement - Linda Pfeiffer, Purde University
  • May 27: Communicating Controversial Topics - Group Discussion
  • June 3: Crafting Your Story - Carrie Mess (@dairycarrie)
  • June 10: Presenting Yourself Professionally Online - Sara Hollenbeck, High Five Meats
  • June 17: Practice Telling Your Story - Group Discussion

Each week’s class will begin at 5 PM MST and last until 6 PM. The webinar series will be hosted via Microsoft Teams, which will allow class participants to interact with each other between sessions. If you are unfamiliar with teams, a video will be distributed to familiarize you with the software. The webinar series is free of charge. Registration can be accessed at puext.in/comm4farm. For more information about the webinar series, contact Adriane Good at 406-271-4054.

Public Meeting Notice: Agriculture Development Council Virtual Meeting

Ag Development Council will meet via Zoom May 18th at 9:00 AM

Public Meeting Notice: Agriculture Development Council Virtual Meeting

The Agriculture Development Council will meet via Zoom on May 18th beginning at 9:00 a.m. Meeting topics include the Food and Agriculture Development Center application review and presentations as well as a Growth Through Agriculture business meeting. An agenda will  be available soon.

To receive Zoom meeting information, please email a request to Tina.Bateman@mt.gov.

Click here to learn more about the Ag Development Council.

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