Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Grant and Loan Program

Montana Department of Agriculture


Grant amount: Up to US $150,000

Deadline: Nov 1, 2018 1:00pm PDT

Applicant type: For-Profit Business Government Entity College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Education / Outreach, Research

Location of project: Montana

Location of residency: Montana

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Overview:

Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Grant and Loan Program

The Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program is a grant and loan program established by the Montana Legislature to strengthen and diversify Montana's agricultural industry through development of new agricultural products and processes. The GTA program is administered by the Montana Department of Agriculture with counsel from the Agriculture Development Council.

The legislative purpose of the program is to strengthen and diversify Montana's agricultural industry through loans and grants to assist the development of innovative agricultural business organizational improvements and the commercialization and marketing of new agricultural products in order to keep pace with a transforming agricultural industry and to create new jobs and expand small business opportunities. 

Goal

Strengthen and diversify Montana’s agricultural industry.   The program addresses this goal by providing funding opportunities that are detailed in the rest of this document.

Types of Funding Available

The Council determines which projects to fund, and may elect to fund a project through grants or loans. All awards are provided on a reimbursement basis unless otherwise specified by the Council. 

  • A grant is an award of money without the expectation that the funds will be repaid. Security provisions are required and are structured on an individual case basis. The maximum grant amount for any single application is $50,000.
  • A loan is an award of money with the expectation that the money will be repaid. The Council has the option to defer interest and/or payments for loans. Loans may be repaid over a period of up to eight years. Security provisions are required and are structured on an individual case basis. The maximum loan amount for any single application is $100,000.

Examples of project activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Equipment purchases
  • Advertising and promotion
  • Consultant services such as engineering costs

General Criteria for Funding

The Council may make a grant or loan if it determines that the project is consistent with the goals of the Growth Through Agriculture Act and:

  • primarily adds value to Montana’s agricultural products,
  • has the prospects for commercial success given current personnel, experience and resources of the applicant,
  • has the prospects to create and/or retain jobs in Montana,
  • primarily processes or adds value to Montana’s agricultural products currently produced or potentially produced in the state, and
  • has the management structure to allow the Agriculture Development Council to reasonably conclude that the applicant will comply with ongoing reporting and monitoring activities.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • Projects should primarily add value to Montana’s agricultural products, have prospects for achieving commercial success given the current personnel, experience and resources of the applicant and have the possibility to create and/or retain jobs in Montana.
  • Proposals for funding are accepted from:
    • Individuals
    • Businesses and Industry Organizations
    • Public and Private Agencies and Organizations
    • Educational Institutions
    • Local Governments
  • General Criteria for Funding
    • The Council may make a grant or loan if it determines that the project is consistent with the goals of the Growth Through Agriculture Act and:
      • primarily adds value to Montana’s agricultural products,
      • has the prospects for commercial success given current personnel, experience and resources of the applicant,
      • has the prospects to create and/or retain jobs in Montana,
      • primarily processes or adds value to Montana’s agricultural products currently produced or potentially produced in the state, and
      • has the management structure to allow the Agriculture Development Council to reasonably conclude that the applicant will comply with ongoing reporting and monitoring activities. 
  •  Additional Loan Eligibility Requirements: The Council has the option to offer high and low interest loans up to $100,000 for those projects that meet the general criteria for funding. 
    • To be eligible for a low interest loan, the applicant must have unencumbered collateral to secure the full amount of the loan. 
    • The Council can select up to two targeted areas for projects which would be eligible for low interest loans. These targeted areas will encourage specific types of projects and will inform the public of the Council’s particular interests. These targeted areas must be announced 60 days prior to becoming effective. 
  • Additional Grant Eligibility Requirements: In addition to meeting the general criteria for funding, grant applicants must demonstrate through their application that they meet at least one of the following additional criteria:
    • The project will benefit additional agricultural companies,
    • The project will accomplish research that will benefit agriculture as a whole, or
    • The applicant is a nonprofit entity. 
  • Eligible Costs:
    • Eligible costs under the GTA program include, but are not limited to:
      • Equipment
      • Consultant Services (professional, technical, operational)
      • Travel
      • Advertising and Promotion
      • Supplies and Materials
      • Communication (telephone, postage, printing, etc.)
      • Data Processing
  • Match Requirement: $1 for $1 match is required for all types of Growth Through Agriculture proposals including both grants and loans.

Ineligibility:

  • Ineligible Costs:
    • Costs incurred prior to application -
      • Typically costs incurred prior to submitting an application for GTA program funding are not funded, however, the Council may consider reimbursement of costs incurred within 12 months prior to approval of a GTA loan or grant on a case by case basis, but only if specifically allowed by the Council. 
    • Salaries, wages, food and entertainment are rarely considered eligible costs.
    • Food costs
      • If funding is requested for food costs, applicant must demonstrate how the food purchase would impact agriculture – such as a meal serving and promoting an all Grown/Raised in Montana ingredients and products and where to purchase them. 
    • Payment of institutional overhead or other indirect costs -
      • The Council does not allow program funds to be used for the payment of institutional overhead or other indirect costs.
    • Political purposes - In no case can funds be used for political purposes.