Montana Department of Agriculture logo

The Montana Department of Agriculture operates 30 programs ranging from marketing and business development to pesticide licensing, seed labeling and organic certification. Several of these programs have advisory councils to assist the Department on policy issues or to supervise the expenditure of industry fees on research and promotional efforts.


Ag Development

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.

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Alfalfa Seed Committee

The Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee provides direction for research and marketing toward the continued growth of the alfalfa seed industry of Montana. The Alfalfa Seed Program is administered by the department's Rural Development Division under the Alfalfa Seed Industry Act.

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Hail Board

The Montana State Hail Insurance Program was created in 1917 to provide basic hail insurance coverage on any crop grown in Montana. The program continues to provide a valuable service to the agricultural producers. View or download the 2018 Hail Report.

The program is directed by a five-member Board of Hail Insurance consisting of the department director, the state auditor, and three other members appointed by the Governor. The program is assigned to the department for administrative purposes, and is self supporting through a trust and reserve established with premiums paid by participating producers.

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Hemp Advisory Committee

After receiving significant interest from producers and stakeholders throughout the state, Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) Director Ben Thomas appointed nine individuals to the Montana Hemp Advisory Committee, all for terms of one year.

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Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council

Members are appointed by the department director. The Council provides guidance on the Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant program that assists counties, local communities, tribes, researchers and educators in efforts to combat the most serious weed problems in Montana.

Many hours are dedicated to reviewing grant applications and attending the four to five day grant hearings held annually in March. Grant funding recommendations are made by the Council at the conclusion of the hearings and presented to the Director for approval.

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Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Council

The council advises the Department on Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage issues regarding the forage certification program, forage advertising, and the use of Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage on federal/state lands.

The Council is made up of 10 members including the Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture. Council members represent different groups such as producers, guides and outfitters, weed districts, and pellet manufacturers. The Council recommends inspection fees and marker costs which are regulated by program Rules. The Rules provide a mechanism to standardize fees, inspection procedures, enforcement actions, marking and tracking systems.

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Organic Council

The eight-member Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Committee advises the department on the operation of the state's Organic Certification Program. Under Montana administrative rules, the department director serves on the committee, along with certified organic producers, a certified organic handler, and a consumer representative.

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Potato Advisory Committee

The Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program was created by a vote of Montana potato producers following a process outlined in the Agricultural Commodity Research and Market Development Enabling Act.

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Pulse Crop Committee

The Montana Pulse Research & Market Development Program was created by a vote of Montana pea, lentil and chickpea producers following a process outlined in the Agricultural Commodity Research and Market Development Enabling Act.

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Wheat & Barley Committee

The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee (MWBC) is the producer-funded and directed checkoff organization for wheat and barley growers in the state. The MWBC is attached to the Montana Department of Agriculture for administrative purposes.

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Upcoming Meetings: Ag Boards, Committees & Councils

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Ag Board, Committee & Council News

"How to Apply for a Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Grant" Webinar Now Available

"How to Apply for a Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Grant" Webinar Now Available

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. Click here to view and listen to a recording of the webinar on the Montana Department of Agriculture YouTube channel, or click here to download a PDF of the GTA Webinar Powerpoint Presentation

Proposals Sought for Potato Research & Market Development Program

Proposals due October 25, 2019

Proposals Sought for Potato Research & Market Development Program

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Potato Advisory Committee is seeking proposals for the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program. Proposals should relate to demonstration projects, applied research, and market development projects designed to address needs and opportunities for the Montana potato industry.

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Application Deadline is November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Helena, Mont. – Folks across Montana looking to create or expand their operation or agriculture business now have the opportunity to access state grant dollars, as the 2019 funding cycle for the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program is open.

“Our Growth Through Agriculture program has provided Montana’s producers and small-business owners with vital funding to help create jobs in their communities and add value to our state’s ag products,” said Department of Agriculture Director, Ben Thomas. “With our ag industry becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking forward to seeing this next round of applications.”

Those interested in applying for GTA funds should visit www.gta.mt.gov and www.fundingmt.org for more information on how to apply.​

Department of Agriculture Current Board Vacancies

  • Currently there are no board vacancies.

Montana Department of Agriculture
Phone : (406) 444-3144
E-mail : agr@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-5409
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601