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08 April 2021
Virtual Marketing Consultations Available Through Ag Development & Marketing Bureau

Virtual Marketing Consultations Available Through Ag Development & Marketing Bureau

The Montana Department of Agriculture's marketing team is looking forward to connecting with Montana food and ag businesses as they schedule virtual marketing consultations for the week of April 19th. Our marketing officers are taking this opportunity to learn more about different companies across the state and explore how the department can help them reach their goals. 

If you are interested in setting up a virtual marketing consultation, please contact Marty Earnheart at (406) 444-9126 or mearnheart@mt.gov

Click here to learn more about the Agricultural Marketing & Business Development Bureau at Montana Department of Agriculture. 

05 April 2021
USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the availability of $2 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The funding was made possible by USDA’s new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, an effort to distribute resources more broadly and to put greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers impacted by the pandemic. Today also marks the reopening of FSA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) signup as part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Farmers and ranchers will have at least 60 days to apply or make modifications to existing CFAP 2 applications

The cooperative agreements will support participation in programs offered by FSA, including those that are part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Interested organizations must submit proposals by May 5, 2021.

Click here to read the full news release.

23 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 22 - 26 Montana Agriculture Week!

Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 22 - 26 Montana Agriculture Week!

Governor Greg Gianforte has proclaimed March 22 - 26, 20201 Montana Agriculture Week!

Click here to view the full proclamation.

19 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 20th "Montana Meat Day"

Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 20th "Montana Meat Day"

In honor and support of all MT farmers and ranchers that feed Montana, the nation, and the world, Governor Gianforte proclaimed March 20, 2021 to be "Montana Meat Day."

Click here to view the full proclamation.

08 March 2021
Growth Through Agriculture Program Awards Over $830,000 in Grants and Loans

Growth Through Agriculture Program Awards Over $830,000 in Grants and Loans

Governor Gianforte and the Agriculture Development Council announced the recipients of $834,646 in grants and loans awarded through the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program.  

“Expanding value-added agriculture helps Montana businesses thrive,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “The investments made through the Growth Through Agriculture program make it possible for producers and businesses across the state to grow their operations, create jobs, and access new markets. These value-added projects play an important role in promoting Montana’s high-quality commodities and boosting our economy.” 

The application process was highly competitive with projects aimed at creating robust markets for Montana’s agricultural producers. Successful projects ranged from a feedlot development to allow for more in-state livestock finishing, to increasing processing capacity for Montana crops and meat, and expanding value-added food and beverage products, such as fermented foods. Click here to view the full list of funded projects. 

05 March 2021
USDA Announces Availability of an Additional $35 Million for Value-Added Producer Grant Program

USDA Announces Availability of an Additional $35 Million for Value-Added Producer Grant Program

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is making an additional $35 million available this year in the Value-Added Producer Grant Program to support agricultural producers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is made possible through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. In total, $76 million is available.

The Department has also extended the application deadline to May 4, 2021. USDA originally opened the application window on Dec. 21, 2020, with an application due date of March 22, 2021.

Click Here to learn more and apply. Applications are permitteed via Grants.gov and must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on April 29, 2021; Paper applications must be postmarked by May 4, 2021. Please refer to the Federal Register Notices for more information on the deadline and various ways the Agency will accept applications.

19 January 2021
Junior Ag Loans Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Junior Ag Loans Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Montana youth ages 21 and under may be eligible for up to $8,500 in loan financing through the Montana Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Junior Agriculture Loan Program.

“With the average age of farmers and ranchers being nearly 60 years old, supporting the next generation is vital to Montana’s livelihood,” said MDA Director Mike Foster. “The Junior Ag Loan Program plays an important role in connecting young people who are passionate about pursuing projects in agriculture with the financing they need to get started.”

Click here to learn more about the Junior Ag Loan Program and apply. 

08 January 2021
Montana Agriculture Development Council Meeting

Montana Agriculture Development Council Meeting

The Agriculture Development Council will meet virtually Wednesday, February 17th through Friday, February 19th. See attached agenda for order of events. 

To receive information to join the virtual meetings, please email a request to agr@mt.gov or call (406) 444-0134.

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. Click here to learn more about the Agriculture Development Council. 

16 October 2020
Tourism Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

Tourism Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The application cycle for Tourism Grants is now open. The 2021 application cycle will accept applications from eligible entities from October 15 - November 30, 2020.

The Tourism Grant Program funds projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through the development and enhancement of Montana’s tourism and recreation industry. A total of $750,000 is available for projects that develop and enhance tourism and recreation products that have the potential to increase non-resident visitation.

Click here to learn more or to apply for a grant.

23 September 2020
Governor Bullock Announces $4.2 Million of Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds Awarded through Meat Processing Infrastructure Grants

Governor Bullock Announces $4.2 Million of Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds Awarded through Meat Processing Infrastructure Grants

Governor Steve Bullock today announced $4.2 million in additional funds have been awarded through the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant (MMPIG) program to aid small and medium-sized meat processors in responding to the COVID-19 crisis through the adaptation and advancement of meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.

“The meat processing infrastructure grant program received an incredible amount of interest, which goes to show just how crucial these investments are for Montana,” Governor Bullock said. “Our hardworking producers need to have viable markets for selling their livestock. These grants allow meat processors to expand their capacity to meet increased demand for local meat and protect consumers from future supply chain disruptions.”

The grant program previously awarded $7.5 million to 62 different processors across the state in early August, making the total awards for meat processing nearly $12 million.

Click here to view the full MT Meat Processing Infrastructure Program award recipient list.

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