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Combines at work in the Gallatin Valley of Montana.

The department offers the following grant and loan opportunities for agriculture-related enterprises. Contact MDA for application assistance, or to request information about additional programs and opportunities.

  • *New* Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program - Grants are available to food and agriculture businesses to help increase community resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic disruptions. Grants are intended to create additional economic activity and bolster food security. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to, those focused on accessing new markets, projects which strengthen and expand local food systems, and other business adaptations that decrease food and agricultural waste. The need for such innovations must be driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Total funding available is $500,000, with a maximum application amount of $10,000.
    • Coronavirus Relief - Montanans in every corner of the state have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As Montana works to recover from the unprecedented economic situation caused by this novel Coronavirus, the state is making emergency financial relief available from the federal government to those who have been hardest-hit by impacts of COVID-19 through a single application portal on this site

  • Commodity Crop Development Programs are available for Alfalfa Seed, Pulse Crops (Peas, Lentils & Chickpeas), Potatoes, and Wheat & Barley.
    • The Alfalfa Seed Program, established under the Alfalfa Seed Industry Act, provides direction for research and marketing toward the continued growth of the alfalfa seed industry of Montana. The program is directed by the Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee.
    • The Pulse Crop Research & Market Development Program provides support for pea, lentil and chickpea production. It is funded by industry fees and led by the Pulse Crop Advisory Council.
    • The Potato Research & Market Development Program is funded by industry and led by the Montana Potato Advisory Committee.
    • The Montana Wheat & Barley Committee (MWBC) administers research and marketing activities for Montana small grain crops. The MWBC is funded by a producer checkoff and guided by a Board of Directors made up of producers from around the state.
       
  • Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) offers investments for new and innovative agribusiness developments or agriculture marketing programs. The Agriculture Development Council, which consists of representatives from industry and government, reviews applications and selects successful projects for GTA investments.
  • Junior Agriculture Loans assist and encourage members of agricultural youth organizations in financing agricultural projects when funding is unavailable from other sources. Projects can involve crop and livestock production, custom farming, marketing, processing and other financially feasible projects.
  • Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grants were established by the 1985 Montana Legislature to provide funding for the development and implementation of weed management programs. The trust fund also supports research and development of innovative weed management techniques including biological controls, and funds research and education projects.
  • Rural Assistance Loans are available to producers with modest financial investments in agriculture. These loans finance agricultural enterprises to enhance producers' operations and assist in the economic growth and welfare of Montana agriculture.
    • Beginning Farm & Ranch Loans are available from a tax-exempt bond program that aids financial institutions in assisting Montana's beginning farmers and ranchers. Loans can be used to purchase agricultural land and other depreciable agricultural property.
       
  • State Tax Deduction for Sale of Agricultural Land : Sellers of agricultural land may obtain up to $50,000 in state tax-deductions against capital gains and other earnings associated with the sale of land to a qualified beginning farmer or rancher if it complies with other statutory requirements. The deduction may be claimed over several years against state taxes only, but may not exceed the maximum amount of $50,000. Download the Application Form for a State Tax Deduction for Sale of Agricultural Land.
  • Specialty Crop Block Grants offer grant funds to Montana's specialty crop industry solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Montana: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Funds are provided from the federal USDA Farm Bill.

Grant & Loan News

USDA Expands Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Producers can apply for CFAP 2 September 21 through December 11, 2020

USDA Expands Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA is implementing Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. 

CFAP 2 will provide producers with financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

CFAP 2 follows the first round of CFAP, which had an application period of May 26 through September 11. The applciation period for CFAP 2 begins September 21, 2020. You can learn more about USDA’s initial Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and eligible commodities by visiting farmers.gov/cfap1.

Governor Bullock Announces Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds for Meat Processing

Montana Department of Agriculture will review existing applications that have not yet been funded to determine additional awards through the program

Governor Bullock Announces Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds for Meat Processing

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced additional funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will be directed to the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant and Social Services Nonprofit Grant programs to fully address identified needs.

“The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have drawn attention to challenges faced by our nation’s meat processing systems. And by addressing this complex issue here in Montana, we are building resilience to future supply chain interruptions in communities across the state,” Governor Bullock said. “In-state meat processing facilities are critical for producers. Ensuring the proper infrastructure exists to provide them with reliable, value-added markets to sell their meat is essential to bolstering our food security, especially during these times.”

The Montana Department of Agriculture will review existing applications that have not yet been funded to determine additional awards through the program.

USDA Designates Powder River County as Primary Disaster Area Due to Recent Drought - Big Horn, Carter, Custer & Rosebud Counties Named Contiguous Disaster Areas

Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months to apply for emergency loans

USDA Designates Powder River County as Primary Disaster Area Due to Recent Drought - Big Horn, Carter, Custer & Rosebud Counties Named Contiguous Disaster Areas

On September 4, 2020, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue named the following counties as Disaster Designation Areas in Montana:

  • Powder River (primary)
  • Big Horn, Carter, Custer, Rosebud (contiguous)

Affected producers should work with their local FSA offices to apply for emergency loans and other assistance programs. Click here to visit the Montana FSA website to learn more.

Documents to download

Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Phone: (406) 444-3144
E-mail: agr@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-5409