Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This information is available in the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program Guidelines document available on A list of eligible and ineligible costs are listed in the first few pages of the document.

The average award amount for the last 3 years has been $20,000 - $35,000. Many of these awards were partially funded requests. A list of all the projects funded by year for the last several years is available on Scroll to the bottom of the page under More Information.

Yes, the Agriculture Development Council reviews all proposals and can decide to fully fund, not to fund or to partially fund any proposal. For example, $50,000 could be requested, but the Council may decide to fund $25,000 or to fund just one or two of the activities proposed in the request.

No, however, GTA funds can be reimbursed based on 50% of the GTA documented expenses until such time as the eligible matching funds have been documented.

No, GTA funds are only available on a reimbursement basis. If an applicant is successful in applying for funds, an award letter and then a contract will be sent for review and signature. Once the contract is signed by both parties, the successful award recipient can submit requests for reimbursement with the required receipts, invoices or other required documentation.

No, GTA funds can only be distributed on a reimbursement basis. Applicants should plan with this requirement in mind to cash their project activities. Some applicants have spoken with a lender to get a line of credit available contingent upon a copy of a GTA award letter so that funds can be available to purchase equipment or pay for project activities and then request reimbursement from the GTA funding. Reimbursement typically takes 2-3 weeks, but during high volume times can take up to 30 days to process.

Keep in mind that GTA will require a personal guarantee as well as a security lien on equipment purchased with GRANT and LOAN funds. (Please note the personal guarantee and security sections of the application).

  • Grant awards only have a security lien filed until final grant reporting is completed.
  • Loan awards have a security lien in place until the loan is paid off. If you are requesting GTA funds for part of a purchase of equipment and a lender is financing the other half, please notify GTA staff to discuss possible security lien implications and options.

Yes, it is highly recommended to attach the actual invoices or receipts for activities that are being requested to meet match requirements that have already been spent. An overview of prior matching costs is permissible, but note that if funded, successful recipients will be required to submit copies of all invoices, receipts and other documentation before reimbursement is provided. This has delayed several past funding recipients by several weeks as that information is gathered again several months later.

Standard timing is 2-3 weeks for reimbursement requests. Award recipients are encouraged to submit requests for payment as soon as possible. If award recipients wait several weeks to submit claim for reimbursement, keep in mind that it will be at least 2-3 weeks after it is submitted before the Department will be able to review and complete the payment process. This is due to the volume of accounting requests the Department processes on a daily basis and the required steps of program and accounting approval required for the release of state funds. If paperwork is submitted to get set up for EFT, this can make payment receipt faster.

MDA staff involved in reviewing and managing Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) may only provide responses to applicant’s technical questions with application and process compliance. Involved staff include: GTA program manager, Agriculture Development and Marketing Bureau Chief, ADD Staff Attorney, MDA Deputy Director, and MDA Director.

MDA staff who are not involved in the making of GTA grants are an available resource to all potential applicants however, they are not available to participate in the writing of a proposal.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Food and Agriculture Development Center Network ( the Small Business Development Center Network ( and/or their local economic development organization ( as resources in developing their GTA application.

Yes. This is addressed in the program manual. The council gives one score of high, medium, or low. The areas of consideration are also listed in the grant manual.

No, they are reviewed through the same process.