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Governor Gianforte, Ag Development Council announce GTA awards

830,000+ in grants, loans for value-added agriculture projects given

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News from the Governor’s Office

HELENA — Governor Gianforte and the Agriculture Development Council announced the recipients of $834,646 in grants and loans awarded through the Growth Through Agriculture program.  

“Expanding value-added agriculture helps Montana businesses thrive,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “The investments made through the Growth Through Agriculture program make it possible for producers and businesses across the state to grow their operations, create jobs, and access new markets. These value-added projects play an important role in promoting Montana’s high-quality commodities and boosting our economy.” 

The GTA program awarded grants to a total of 30 Montana agricultural businesses and organizations from Pinesdale to Plevna. 

The application process was highly competitive with projects aimed at creating robust markets for Montana’s agricultural producers. Successful projects ranged from a feedlot development to allow for more in-state livestock finishing, to increasing processing capacity for Montana crops and meat, and expanding value-added food and beverage products, such as fermented foods. A full list of funded projects is included with this release. 

The GTA program was established by the legislature to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agriculture industry by developing innovative agricultural business improvements and the commercialization and marketing of new agriculture products. The Montana Department of Agriculture administers the program with counsel from the Agriculture Development Council, a seven-member committee appointed by the Governor. GTA funding requires the investment of at least $1 in matching funds for every $1 in grant or loan assistance received. 

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: 

Local businesses receiving 2021 Growth Through Agriculture Program Awards: 

(July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021) 

M&S Meats – Rollins

$23,492 Grant to purchase equipment for a new meat processing plant, retail store, and cold storage facility in Kalispell. 

Big Sky Orchards & Hops Farm – Bigfork

$30,208 Grant to assist in purchasing and building a commercial walk-in freezer to maximize efficiency and storage.

Cool Earth Creamery – Missoula 

$50,000 Grant to assist with the costs associated with purchasing plant-based milk production and distribution equipment to create high quality plant-based milk produced from Montana grown crops. 

Green Ridge Biosolutions US Inc. – Ronan

$50,000 Loan to purchase equipment for a Gummy Machine and Hemp Protein and Hemp Heart Packaging Machine. 

Big Sky Orchards & Hops Farm – Bigfork

$30,208 Grant to assist in purchasing and building a commercial walk-in freezer to maximize efficiency and storage. 

Farmented Foods – Kalispell 

$11,908 Grant to convert a commercial space into a fully functional specialized fermentation commercial kitchen in Kalispell. 


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