Montana Department of Agriculture logo

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:

  • November 1, 2019 – 2 pm

Important Dates

Date Time Deadline/Event
June 2019   Funding opportunity will be posted here and at
August 14, 2019 10:00 a.m. Webinar*.
October 8, 2019 1:00 p.m. Open Question and Answer Conference Call #1*.
October 22, 2019 10:00 a.m. Open Question and Answer Conference Call #2*.
October 27, 2019 5:00 p.m. Deadline for Material Verification on
November 1, 2019 2:00 p.m. Application deadline at
November - December 2019   Council proposal review and scoring.
December 2019   Council invitations sent to scoring applicants by email and letter.
February 2020 - Date TBA   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.
*Calls and webinar information will be posted here as dates approach.

Technical Assistance:

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 adding value to Montana commodities, and
  • Businesses transitioning beyond direct sales/farmers markets.

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

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
  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 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

Pioneer Meats of Big Timber, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

Grant and Loan Reporting

Semi-annual reports are required of all applicants who accept either a GTA grant or loan award. These are due on the dates set forth in the award contract until the project is complete, at which time a comprehensive final report is due.

These semi-annual and final reports are required to be filled out through the WebGrants system at Use the same user ID and password issued during registration to apply for Growth Through Agriculture funding. When logged into click on "Grantee Instructions" and scroll down to "Status Reports" to learn more about how to use this component.

Please contact GTA program staff using the information listed on this page if you have further questions about the program or reporting processes.

Lee McAlpine of Montana CiderWorks in Sula, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

*NOTE: There will be no further Mini Grant/Mini Loan funding through June 30, 2019.*

The Growth Through Agriculture Mini Grant/Loan program (Mini Grant/Loan program) is a branch of the Montana Growth Through Agriculture program and was authorized by the 2009 Montana Legislature to encourage economic and agricultural development.


Growth Through Agriculture Project Locations (1989-2018)

Click here to view the full map in a new tab.

Montana Agriculture Development Council

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 (GTA) program.

The committee is appointed by the Governor and composed of seven members. Board members serve three-year terms. For additional information about Governor appointed Boards and Councils, visit the Boards, Councils & Commissions website from Montana.Gov.

Board Members

Name Contact Info Term End Qualifications
Director Ben Thomas Dept. of Agriculture
PO Box 200201
Helena, MT 49620
  Agriculture Director, Statutory Appointment
Director Tara Rice Dept. of Commerce
PO Box 200501
Helena, MT 59620
  Commerce Director, Statutory Appointment
Greg Jergeson PO Box 1568
Chinook, MT 59523
7/1/2019 Agriculture Representative
Amy Kellogg 442 5th Avenue East
Kalispell, MT 59901
7/1/2019 Agriculture Representative
Lars Hanson P.O. Box 6
Edgar, MT 59026
7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative
Tara Mastel P.O. Box 2182
Red Lodge, MT 59068
7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative
Patricia Quisno PO Box 206
Harlem, MT 59526
7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative

Growth Through Agriculture News

Public Meeting Notice: Agriculture Development Council Meeting / Food & Ag Center Proposal Review

July 2, 2019 in Helena, MT

The Agricultural Development Council will meet on July 2nd in Room 225 at the Department of Agriculture (Scott Hart Bldg., 302 N. Roberts, Helena, MT) beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Click to learn more about the Ag Development Council and Growth Through Agriculture program.

Now accepting applications for organizations to become Food and Agriculture Development Centers

Application deadline is June 12 at 2:00 p.m.

Now accepting applications for organizations to become Food and Agriculture Development Centers

The Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for organizations to become a Food and Agriculture Development Center. Apply at Application deadline is June 12, 2019 – 2pm.

Click here for more information and full solicitation details.

Click here for more information about Food and Agriculture Development Centers in Montana.

Discounted Vendor Early-Bird Registrations for Montana Food Show open until May 23

Montana Food Show set for September 27th in Bozeman

Discounted Vendor Early-Bird Registrations for Montana Food Show open until May 23

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be hosting the third annual Montana Food Show September 27, 2019 at MSU’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman.

Early bird registration for vendors will open March 7th and run until regular registration begins May 23rd.

Final deadline for vendor registration is July 24th.

Buyer registration will open June 3rd.

Let’s get more Montana foods on Montana plates!

In 2019 you can expect:

  • International trade groups from Canada and Mexico
  • Public will be allowed for the trade show

At the second annual Montana Food Show in 2018:

  • $9,933 in reported sales from the day of the show
  • 64 Montana companies showcased
  • 166 buyers from more than 55 companies
    • Hotels & resorts
    • Restaurants & bars
    • Gift shops
    • Catering services
    • Distributors & wholesalers
    • Grocery stores & markets

Interested in being a 2019 Vendor? Click here for online Vendor Registration.

Wondering if this show is for you? Click here for the 2018 Vendor List.

If you have any questions about the show, please contact Marketing Officer Marty Earnheart at (406) 444-2402,

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


Growth Through Agriculture Forms & Files

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