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Combines at work in the Gallatin Valley of Montana.

The department offers the following grant and loan opportunities for agriculture-related enterprises. Contact MDA for application assistance, or to request information about additional programs and opportunities.

  • *New* Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program - Grants are available to food and agriculture businesses to help increase community resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic disruptions. Grants are intended to create additional economic activity and bolster food security. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to, those focused on accessing new markets, projects which strengthen and expand local food systems, and other business adaptations that decrease food and agricultural waste. The need for such innovations must be driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Total funding available is $500,000, with a maximum application amount of $10,000.
    • Coronavirus Relief - Montanans in every corner of the state have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As Montana works to recover from the unprecedented economic situation caused by this novel Coronavirus, the state is making emergency financial relief available from the federal government to those who have been hardest-hit by impacts of COVID-19 through a single application portal on this site
    • Apply Here

  • Commodity Crop Development Programs are available for Alfalfa Seed, Pulse Crops (Peas, Lentils & Chickpeas), Potatoes, and Wheat & Barley.
    • The Alfalfa Seed Program, established under the Alfalfa Seed Industry Act, provides direction for research and marketing toward the continued growth of the alfalfa seed industry of Montana. The program is directed by the Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee.
    • The Pulse Crop Research & Market Development Program provides support for pea, lentil and chickpea production. It is funded by industry fees and led by the Pulse Crop Advisory Council.
    • The Potato Research & Market Development Program is funded by industry and led by the Montana Potato Advisory Committee.
    • The Montana Wheat & Barley Committee (MWBC) administers research and marketing activities for Montana small grain crops. The MWBC is funded by a producer checkoff and guided by a Board of Directors made up of producers from around the state.
       
  • Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) offers investments for new and innovative agribusiness developments or agriculture marketing programs. The Agriculture Development Council, which consists of representatives from industry and government, reviews applications and selects successful projects for GTA investments.
  • Junior Agriculture Loans assist and encourage members of agricultural youth organizations in financing agricultural projects when funding is unavailable from other sources. Projects can involve crop and livestock production, custom farming, marketing, processing and other financially feasible projects.
  • Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grants were established by the 1985 Montana Legislature to provide funding for the development and implementation of weed management programs. The trust fund also supports research and development of innovative weed management techniques including biological controls, and funds research and education projects.
  • Rural Assistance Loans are available to producers with modest financial investments in agriculture. These loans finance agricultural enterprises to enhance producers' operations and assist in the economic growth and welfare of Montana agriculture.
    • Beginning Farm & Ranch Loans are available from a tax-exempt bond program that aids financial institutions in assisting Montana's beginning farmers and ranchers. Loans can be used to purchase agricultural land and other depreciable agricultural property.
       
  • State Tax Deduction for Sale of Agricultural Land : Sellers of agricultural land may obtain up to $50,000 in state tax-deductions against capital gains and other earnings associated with the sale of land to a qualified beginning farmer or rancher if it complies with other statutory requirements. The deduction may be claimed over several years against state taxes only, but may not exceed the maximum amount of $50,000. Download the Application Form for a State Tax Deduction for Sale of Agricultural Land.
  • Specialty Crop Block Grants offer grant funds to Montana's specialty crop industry solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Montana: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Funds are provided from the federal USDA Farm Bill.

Grant & Loan News

Governor Bullock Announces Support for Local Meat Processors, Small Businesses and Local Governments Across Montana

CARES Act funding will be used to put more Montana meat on shelves and reimburse local governments for COVID-19 related expenses

Governor Bullock Announces Support for Local Meat Processors, Small Businesses and Local Governments Across Montana

 

 

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced funding through the federal CARES Act will be used to boost in-state processing and storage capacity for local meat processors, to provide additional financial assistance for small businesses, and to reimburse local governments for COVID-19 related expenses.

The Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant is available to aid small and medium-sized meat processors responding to COVID-19 supply chain disruptions by supporting local meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.

“These grants will boost processing and storage capacity. They’ll help Montana businesses put more Montana meat onto more shelves. Plus, an increase in in-state processing means more direct sales, and better, value-added markets for producers,” Governor Bullock said. “These investments will bolster Montana’s food security, making us stronger in response to the pandemic, as well as long into the future.”

Due to interruptions in national supply chains, meat processing capacity throughout the US has been significantly impacted. Supporting in-state meat processing infrastructure and capacity will provide alternative market channels for Montana’s cattle, hog and poultry producers. Examples of eligible expenses include equipment and infrastructure that increases processing and/or storage capacity, costs associated with becoming state or federally inspected, and other business adaptation and diversification activities. Total funding available through the program is $2,000,000, with a maximum award of $150,000. Applications are being accepted now at COVIDRELIEF.MT.GOV. The deadline to apply is July 2, 2020 at 5:00pm.

 

EPA Announces Grant Opportunity for Food Waste Management Projects

Applications are due on July 14, 2020

EPA Announces Grant Opportunity for Food Waste Management Projects

EPA supports diversion of food waste and other organic materials from landfills.  AD is an alternative to landfilling that results in environmental benefits in the form of renewable energy (biogas) and a product that can improve soil health (digestate). The goal of this funding opportunity is to accelerate the development of new or enhance/increase existing anaerobic digestion capacity and infrastructure in the United States.

The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity shall not exceed $3 million in total grant funding. EPA anticipates awarding 10 to 40 cooperative agreements and individual grant awards may potentially be in the range of $50,000-$300,000.

Click to learn more.

To apply for this opportunity, search EPA-OLEM-ORCR-20-02 on www.grants.govApplications are due on July 14, 2020.

USDA Will Soon Begin Taking Applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

Producers will apply through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office

USDA Will Soon Begin Taking Applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance program on April 17, 2020. CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program includes direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Food Box Distribution Program. This webpage has more information on the direct support for farmers and ranchers, which include:

  • CFAP will provide direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted.
  • CFAP will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19. 

Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

Phone: (406) 444-3144
E-mail: agr@mt.gov
Fax: (406) 444-5409