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.

  • 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

Cassidy Marn Selected as New Wheat and Barley Bureau Chief

Cassidy Marn Selected as New Wheat and Barley Bureau Chief

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture is excited to announce that Cassidy Marn has accepted the Bureau Chief position for the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.  Cassidy has served as the bureau’s Trade and Marketing Manager since 2010.

“We’re thrilled Cassidy will be leading the Wheat and Barley Committee.  She’s highly experienced in world grain markets and is committed to advancing Montana’s #1 industry,” said Director Ben Thomas.  “I’m confident she’ll serve the state well.”

Public Meeting: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Business Meeting

January 13th in Great Falls, MT

Public Meeting: Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council Business Meeting

The Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Heritage Inn (1700 Fox Farm Rd.) in Great Falls on January 13, 2020.  An agenda will be posted soon.

Click to learn more about the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council.

Oilseed Growers Petition MDA to Create Advisory Committee

Meeting set for December 3, 2019 in Great Falls

Oilseed Growers Petition MDA to Create Advisory Committee

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has received a verified petition from 25 Montana oilseed growers to create an advisory committee.  MDA will hold a listening session to receive additional grower input regarding the proposal in Great Falls on December 3rd.  Meeting information is provided below.​

Oilseed Listening Session

  • December 3, 2019 – Great Falls, MT
  • 10:00 am – Heritage Inn, Room 201 (1700 Fox Farm Rd.)

Growers will have the opportunity to learn about the process for creating a commodity advisory committee and provide input regarding its composition, crops to be included, and rate of assessment.  Based on feedback received during the meeting, MDA will decide whether to propose an oilseed research and market development program for adoption by administrative rule.

Montana is a leading producer of oilseeds including canola, flaxseed and safflower. Canola production is forecast to total more than 210 million pounds in 2019 which is a 62 percent increase from Montana’s 2018 crop according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

MDA currently administers the Montana Potato Advisory Committee and the Montana Alfalfa Seed Committee along with the statutorily enabled Montana Wheat and Barley Committee and Montana Pulse Crop Committee. In total, these programs annually contribute over $8 million in checkoff funds towards research, marketing, and education.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. 

Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

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