Montana Ag Development Council awards grants
Governor Steve Bullock, the Montana Department of Agriculture and the Ag Development Council announced grant awards of $260,924 to agriculture businesses and organizations through the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program. In total, ten projects ranging from meat processing and dairy to food processing and organics were awarded funding. The council also announced that $110,000 in funding will be available with an application deadline of May 4, 2015.
“Expanding value-added agricultural businesses and helping create more opportunities for producers to process and sell products locally is part of the Main Street Montana project. These grants will help boost locally grown products, and help local foods expand into more schools and institutions,” said Governor Bullock.
A grant awarded to the Lake County Community Development Corp. will, in part, focus on the organization’s farm-to-school and farm-to-institution programs. Powder River Meats in Terry, Mont. was awarded a $50,000 grant to assist in their meat processing facility expansion. Awards also focused on business planning and education through the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition, and attracting more agricultural processing, business startups and investment within the Great Falls trade area.
“The council was able to fund a diverse range of businesses and organizations across the state this round. We continue to want to see more applications for the $110,000 in funding available in May. It is a great opportunity for those businesses that missed the previous application deadline and allow new ones to apply,” explained Amy Kellogg, chair of the council.
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The application deadline for the next round of funding is May 4, 2015 at 2 p.m. Those interested in Growth Through Agriculture grants and/or loans are encouraged to contact their local food and agriculture development centers and economic development organizations for assistance before applying. More information is available on the program’s website or contact the GTA program at email@example.com.
2015 Spring GTA Recipients:
Tizer Meats was awarded a grant for $50,000 to purchase equipment to expand meat processing in the Helena area.
Montana State University Extension – Lewis and Clark County received a grant for $9,932 for the purchase of fruit trees and supplies to conduct fruit tree variety research at sites in Lodge Pole and Shelby.
Lake County Community Development Corporation was granted for $13,000 for the purchase of food processing equipment to assist the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center in Ronan in providing value-added agriculture food processing facilities to producers and entrepreneurs. This will also assist with the continued growth of the organization’s farm-to-school and farm-to-institution programs.
Community Food and Agriculture Coalition received a $15,000 grant to assist with costs to provide business planning education for new and beginning farmers and ranchers across the state of Montana. This will also provide train-the-trainer trainings for extension agents, food and agriculture development centers, and small business development staff.
Terry Boyd Sr was awarded a grant for $12,500 to assist in the expansion of an organic produce operation in Brockton.
Hedstrom Dairy received $29,713 in grant funds to purchase a herd monitoring system to improve herd health and performance for the Kalispell Kreamery dairy.
Cloud Nine Farm will be purchasing a mobile salad greens processing kitchen and vending unit for the certified organic farm near Wilsall with the $12,500 grant they received.
Great Falls Development Authority was granted $50,000 to assist in the development of a market driven business analysis to attract more investment in agricultural processing operations, business startups, expansion and diversification of existing processors in the Great Falls trade area.
Powder River Meat Company received a grant for $50,000 to assist with equipment and construction costs to expand the meat processing company in Terry, MT.
Yellowstone River Farms was granted $18,279 for the purchase of equipment, supplies and marketing materials costs associated with the creation of a non-GMO grain milling, mixing, packaging and delivery business.
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit http://www.agr.mt.gov.
–Mont. Dept. of Ag
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