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 established by the Montana Legislature 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.


Application Deadlines:

  • Thursday. November 15, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Important Eligibility Dates:

Match: November 16, 2017 – matching fund expenditures on or after this date will be considered to meet the $1 for $1 match requirement.
GTA: November 15, 2018 – please be sure not to request GTA funds for project expenditures before November 15, 2018.


Bausch Potatoes of Whitehall, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

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 their local economic development organization for assistance with their GTA application and, as necessary, with business and marketing plans. These organizations include the Small Business Development Center network and, specifically for food product or farm-based energy business development, the Food and Agricultural Development Center network.

Projects may potentially be funded in a single application for a 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 Category I: Economic Development Projects

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 with WebGrants by visiting

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 your local economic development organization, Small Business Development Center or, specifically for food product or farm-based energy development, the Food and Agricultural Development Center network to discuss your project and get 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 You may contact program staff to discuss your proposal by email at or by phone at 406-444-0134.
  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

For assistance, please contact GTA program staff at or 406-444-0134.

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, 2018.*

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.

Linda O'Brien of RoBarr in Conrad, Montana, a Montana Growth Through Agriculture business.

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 Pam Haxby-Cote 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 Edgar, MT 59026 7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative
Tara Mastel Whitehall, MT 59759 7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative
Patricia Quisno PO Box 206
Harlem, MT 59526
7/1/2020 Agriculture Representative


Growth Through Agriculture News

MDA Encouraging Support for Ag Literacy Program During Tax Season

MDA Encouraging Support for Ag Literacy Program During Tax Season

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is encouraging Montanans to support the Montana Agriculture in the Classroom program this tax season by contributing to the voluntary check-off program when filing this year’s income taxes.

Governor Bullock, Agriculture Development Council Announce over $700,000 to Strengthen and Diversify Montana’s Ag Industry

A total of 25 businesses and organizations were awarded funds through the Growth Through Agriculture program (GTA)

Governor Bullock, Agriculture Development Council Announce over $700,000 to Strengthen and Diversify Montana’s Ag Industry

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock and the Agriculture Development Council today announced the recipients of $726,600 in grants and loans to agricultural businesses and organizations.

MDA Awarded USDA Quality Samples Program Grant for Beef Genetics

Grant will help Department with market development activities

MDA Awarded USDA Quality Samples Program Grant for Beef Genetics

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been awarded $52,158 from USDA’s Quality Samples Program (QSP) to further develop the market for U.S. beef genetics in Nicaragua. Through January 2020, MDA will use the funds to send semen and embryos from Montana ranches to Nicaragua.

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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