Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky


Eligibility Criteria

hundred dollar bill as puzzleThe Council may make a grant or loan if it determines a project is consistent with the goals of the Growth Through Agriculture Act. Projects should primarily add value to Montana's agricultural products and have the potential to create and/or retain jobs in Montana.

BEFORE beginning the application process, the applicant should be able to document exactly how the project will expand Montana agriculture. For example, the growth could be measurable either in terms of increased sales (by dollar amount or percentage) or in number of jobs created.

The Council strongly urges applicants to contact the Food and Agricultural Development Center network, Small Business Development Center network, and their local economic development organization for assistance with their GTA application, financial projections, business and marketing plans as necessary. I n addition, the Department is offering the use of this one-page financials template for interested businesses that have been invited to apply and present for the main GTA program: found here

Projects may potentially be funded in a single application for a maximum total amount of $150,000 in the form of grant funding up to $50,000 and loan funding up to $100,000. Examples of project activities involve equipment purchases, advertising and promotion, and consultant services such as engineering costs. A $1 for $1 match is required for all proposals.

FY2024 Priority Areas

  • Rural area food and ag businesses
    • Rural area is defined as an area with fewer than 10,000 people (USDA Rural Definitions link: click here)
  • Investing in processing infrastructure to add value to Montana crops and commodities
  • Businesses focusing on vertical integration (i.e. raw commodity to finished/packaged product)

Targeted Areas for Loan Funding

The Council designated the following areas to be eligible for consideration for 0% interest rate loans:

  • Applicant likely does not have access to a conventional loan, such as a startup, or
  • Business is mature and working toward expansion.

Important Dates

Important Dates

October 2, 2023
GTA Pre-application opens
October 23, 2023
Pre-application deadline
Mid-November, 2023
Ag Development Council meeting to select pre-applicants for full application submission
Late November
Full application will open
January 8, 2024
Full applications due
Ag Development Council meeting to review/award GTA applications

Apply Online

Instructions for Completing a GTA Application:

  1. Read the GTA Program Guidelines in order to determine whether or not your project is eligible and learn more about the details of the program to begin the GTA application process.
  2. Contact the Food and Agriculture Development Center Network, Small Business Development Center network, and your local economic development organization to discuss your project and request assistance in applying for your Growth Through Agriculture grant or loan.
  3. Register with the Montana Secretary of State . If your company is not already registered with the Montana Secretary of State, you may need to do so before going further with the application process. Organizations other than Sole Proprietorships must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State prior to submittal of the GTA application. Any application from an organization that is not registered with the Montana Secretary of State will not be accepted.
  4. Register and Apply Online: Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) applications open on October 2nd. Register and apply here.
  5. If you have questions, email