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02 June 2021
USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $4 million for grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production is accepting proposals for planning and innovation projects, and these grants are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture. 
USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 30, 2021. A pre-recorded webinar will provide an overview of the grants’ purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application. The webinar will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.   

06 May 2021
Made in Montana Exhibitor Registration Opens May 19th

Made in Montana Exhibitor Registration Opens May 19th

The Made in Montana Tradeshow for food and gifts will take place in Helena at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds on September 10 - 11th, 2021--all Grown in Montana members are encouraged to apply!

On Friday, September 10th, exhibitors will have the opportuntity to connect with wholesale buyers. Saturday, September 11th, the public is invited to attend and exhibitors will sell directly to consumers at retail prices. 

Exhibitor registration opens up on May 19th. Click here to learn more and apply to participate as an exhibitor. 

22 April 2021
Registration Open for Free "Communicating for the Farm" Webinar Series

Registration Open for Free "Communicating for the Farm" Webinar Series

Montana State University Extension Pondera County and Purdue Extension – Bartholomew County are teaming up to provide a webinar series dedicated to helping agricultural producers improve their agriculture communication skills. Adriane Good, from MSU Extension, and Cora Carter, from Purdue Extension, noticed that many farmers and ranchers want to engage with the public and share their story but have difficulties doing so. This webinar series aims to help producers with that, giving them the skills to communicate effectively and present themselves professionally online when engaging with a non-agricultural based public.

  • May 13: Media Literacy & Critical Thinking - Beth Forbes, Purdue University
  • May 20: Communication & Engagement - Linda Pfeiffer, Purde University
  • May 27: Communicating Controversial Topics - Group Discussion
  • June 3: Crafting Your Story - Carrie Mess (@dairycarrie)
  • June 10: Presenting Yourself Professionally Online - Sara Hollenbeck, High Five Meats
  • June 17: Practice Telling Your Story - Group Discussion

Each week’s class will begin at 5 PM MST and last until 6 PM. The webinar series will be hosted via Microsoft Teams, which will allow class participants to interact with each other between sessions. If you are unfamiliar with teams, a video will be distributed to familiarize you with the software. The webinar series is free of charge. Registration can be accessed at puext.in/comm4farm. For more information about the webinar series, contact Adriane Good at 406-271-4054.

21 April 2021
Public Meeting Notice: Agriculture Development Council Virtual Meeting

Public Meeting Notice: Agriculture Development Council Virtual Meeting

The Agriculture Development Council will meet via Zoom on May 18th beginning at 9:00 a.m. Meeting topics include the Food and Agriculture Development Center application review and presentations as well as a Growth Through Agriculture business meeting. An agenda is attached.

To receive Zoom meeting information, please email a request to Tina.Bateman@mt.gov.

Click here to learn more about the Ag Development Council.

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. 

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.

10 August 2020
Governor Bullock Announces $100,000 Awarded Through Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program

Governor Bullock Announces $100,000 Awarded Through Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced nearly $100,000 has been awarded to 12 applicants through the Montana Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program, which was created to encourage Montana’s college-educated youth to pursue a primary career in farming or ranching.

The program also seeks to reduce financial stress on farm and ranch operators and promote succession planning to preserve interest in the state’s agricultural future.

“With the average age of producers in Montana at nearly 60 years old, it’s critical we invest in young folks and ensure there’s a path to a sustainable career in agriculture,” Governor Bullock said. “This program is vital to the future of Montana’s ag industry and supports our young producers by removing financial barriers and encouraging younger Montanans to pursue careers in farming and ranching.”

Click to read the full article

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