Over $700,000 awarded to strengthen and diversify Montana’s Ag Industry

Governor Steve Bullock and the Agriculture Development Council today announced the recipients of $726,600 in grants and loans to agricultural businesses and organizations.

“Investing in innovative, value-added projects is vital to Montana’s agriculture industry and our rural communities,” said Governor Bullock. “These projects are a great representation of the diversity of Montana agriculture and showcase some of the ingenuity happening throughout the different sectors of Montana’s economy.”

A total of 25 businesses and organizations were awarded funds through the Growth Through Agriculture program (GTA) which was established by the legislature to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agriculture industry by developing new agricultural products and processes. GTA grants and loans are awarded by the Agriculture Development Council, a seven-member committee appointed by the Governor.

Two projects geared towards conventional agriculture aim to help producers in the areas of on-farm safety & storage and soil health, while another will assist in the expansion of a value-added family ranch operation.

  • Cowtown Ag Supply, LLC of Miles City was awarded a loan and a grant totaling $50,000 to assist with the expansion of the company’s manufacturing line of hopper cone bottoms that can be used to make farmers’ existing grain bins safer, easier to use and better able to preserve the quality of more sensitive grains such as pea and chickpeas. The funding will also help with the creation of 10 jobs in the community.
  • Beartooth Fertilizer Inc. of Bridger was awarded a grant for $50,000 to expand the company’s natural soil improvement products that will be able to help non-productive soil become productive and provide conventional and organic-certified soil treatments.
  • Prairie Grass Ranch of Havre was awarded a grant of $8,000 to assist in the vertical integration and marketing of the family’s grass-fed beef products.

A full list of funded projects can be found at this website.

“Montana agriculture must continue to innovate and we can’t be satisfied with just being a ‘raw commodity’ state,” said Agriculture Development Council Vice-Chair, Lars Hanson. “These grants and loans add value to Montana’s agriculture industry, while also supporting our rural communities and encouraging young people to come back to the operation.”

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 agr.mt.gov.

Source: State of Montana