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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

  • 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

Tourism Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

2021 Tourism Grant Program application cycle open from October 12 - November 30, 2020

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.

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

40 additional meat processing businesses to receive support to boost in-state processing and increase storage capacity

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.

Documents to download

USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

Expansion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Begins Sept. 21

USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is implementing the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP) for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for CFAP 2 will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020.

Producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.

A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

 

Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

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