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  Funding Opportunity Details
 86603-AGR Growth Through Agriculture November 1 2019
  AGR GTA Growth Through Agriculture
  Application Deadline: 11/01/2019 2:00 PM
Award Amount Range: $0.00 - $150,000.00
Project Start Date: 11/01/2019
Project End Date: 07/31/2022
Award Announcement Date:
Program Officer: Dani Jones
Phone: 406-444-2402 x
This Opportunity is recurring  Yes 
Categorical Area(s) To be Addressed by Program  Agriculture, Economic Development 

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 the development of new agricultural products and processes. Examples of eligible project activities involve equipment purchases, construction costs, advertising and promotion, and consultant services for engineering. The GTA program is administered by the Agriculture Development Council (Council) which is attached to the Department of Agriculture.

 *Please NOTE - this will be the only application deadline for Growth Through Agriculture for fiscal year 2020 (July 2019 - June 2020).*

It is recommended that you begin working on your application as early as possible. For assistance in planning your project and working on your application, please contact your local Food and Agriculture Development Center Network or Small Business Development Center by September 1, 2019 for the best possible assistance.

Critical Dates




June 10,  2019

Post Funding Opportunity &

August 14, 2019

10:00 am


Webinar - Click Join Skype Meeting on the day of the webinar to participate. To join by phone: 406-444-4647 Conference ID: 574988 If you are asked for a pin number, do not enter one, just stay on the line and you will be joined to the audio for the webinar.

October 8, 2019

1:00 pm

Open Question and Answer Call #1

Conference Call: Call in number: 406-444-4647 Conference ID: 574988 If you are asked for a pin number, do not enter one, just stay on the line and you will be joined to the audio for the webinar.

October 22, 2019

10:00 am

Open Question and Answer Call #2

Conference Call: Call in number: 406-444-4647 Conference ID: 574988 If you are asked for a pin number, do not enter one, just stay on the line and you will be joined to the audio for the webinar.

October 27, 2019

5:00 pm

Deadline for Material Verification

November 1, 2019

2:00 pm

Application Deadline

Nov – Dec 2019


Council Proposal Review & Scoring


December 2019


Council Invitations Sent to Scoring Applicants

Email & Letter

February 2020 – Date TBA - tentatively 1st week


Agriculture Council Review Meeting

MT Dept. of Ag - Helena

March 1, 2020


Expected announcement of selected applications

 By Mail & Email

*All times in Mountain Standard Time

**Call and webinar information will be posted on the GTA website:

Targeted Areas - Current targeted areas for funding that are also eligible for the low interest rate are as follows.

-  Please note that the Council is currently reviewing Targeted Areas and may be updating by the end of July 2019. 

  • Businesses expanding or adding value to Montana commodities; and
  • Businesses transitioning beyond direct sales/farmers markets.

Loan Rates - Loan rates for this year have been set at 0% for the low rate and 5% for the high rate.  Loan terms are up to the Council’s discretion, up to a maximum of 8 years.

To begin the Growth Through Agriculture application process:

  1. Program Guidelines – Read the Program Guidelines in order to determine whether or not your project is eligible and learn more about the details of the program.
  2. Webinar - Attend or view the Growth Through Agriculture Program “How to Apply” webinar – see dates above.
  3. Contact your local Food and Agricultural Development Center Network, or Small Business Development Center, for specific guidance to your project and to request assistance in applying for a Growth Through Agriculture grant or loan or assistance in developing the  financial projections for the application. You are also welcome to work with your local economic development organizations.

  4. 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. If you are using an Assumed Business Name (ABN) / DBA – the ABN must also be registered with the Montana Secretary of State at Any application from an organization that is not registered with the Montana Secretary of State will not be accepted.

  5. Register Online. Before you can fill out an application, make sure that you have registered and received a username and password at - see attached instructions below "Webgrants Registration Instructions"

  6. Log In. After registering, log in with your username and password and click "Start a New Application". Then follow the steps in the "GTA Application Instructions" attached below.

  7. Prepare Financial Statements. Prepare the cash flow statement, projected to a point of positive cash flow and profitability, and balance sheet to accompany your application. All applications must include:

           1) a cash flow statement,

           2) a current and projected balance sheet, and

           3) a list of all key financial assumptions. 

Forms are available at: and in the below links and attachment section. The list of key assumptions should provide the basis for all major financial projections. Any application that does not include these items in the prescribed form will not be accepted.

  • Note: The financial spreadsheet format provided is the only format accepted - if you have any questions about putting your information in this format, please contact your local Small Business Development Center:

       8.   Credit Check Release Form. Attached below. This form must be received by the application deadline. 

          Complete the form and submit it by fax, submit electronically at, or mail to:

              Growth Through Agriculture Program
            Montana Department of Agriculture
            P.O. Box 200201
            Helena, Montana 59620-0201

Deadline:  November 1, 2019 by 2:00pm

Deadline for confirmation check: Friday, October 25th: If you would like to receive confirmation from the Department prior to the deadline that all items have been received before the deadline, submit your application by no later than October 25th to allow time to check for completion and time to respond to any technical issues you may have prior to the deadline.

 ***Incomplete Applications will not be considered.***

Final Checklist: Double check that the following have been submitted:

  1. Credit Check Release Form (Submitted separately – not online – see instructions above)

  2. Application form submitted on

  3. Financial projection spreadsheet attached to application submitted on – must be projected a minimum of 3-5 years to be considered. Be sure to use GTA format provided.

  4. Key Financial Assumptions attached to application submitted on - Applications must be submitted with corresponding key financial assumptions submitted with the application.


Budget - Important Eligibility Dates for Consideration:

GTA Funds – Reimbursement date: Costs incurred after November 1, 2019

Matching Funds -  Matching funds will be considered from November 1, 2018


Application Scoring Scale to be invited to Council Interview

Proposals that are complete and meet minimum eligibility criteria will receive an initial application review and scoring by the Council and will be scored on the following scale:

Basic Business Considerations    Score: 0-5

Agriculture Impact                        Score: 0-10

Economic Impact                          Score: 0-10

Potential for Success                    Score: 0-5

Innovation/Originality                    Score: 0-5

Geographic Considerations          Score: 0-5 

Total possible score:                             40

Minimum Score Required: Applications that do not meet a minimum score of 20 out of 40 will not be invited to present to the Council.  Applications receiving a lower score would be notified that their proposal did not make it to the next round of review. The Council reserves the right to adjust the number of applications invited to present to the Council based on the amount of funding available.  Please review the "GTA Program Guidelines" for further information on application scoring.

Additional Items to Note:

Decision Timeline. The Council will tentatively meet around the first week of February 2020 (tentative - final dates TBA) to determine which projects to fund, and may elect to fund a project through grants or loans or both a grant and loan funding.

Reimbursement Awards. All awards are provided on a reimbursement basis, unless otherwise specified by the Council.

Collateral/Security Required for both Grant and Loan Awards. Security provisions are required for both grant and loan awards and are structured on an individual case basis.

NOTE: File Formats - Please contact program staff at the contact information above if you are having any technical issues with file formats or versions. 



Farm and Food Business Start-up resources are available at:

Start-up Business?  Check out the Business Start-up Checklist, including business plan templates at

Small Business Administration Resources – – see business guide resources to plan start-up or expansion of your business:


 Click on the File Name to open attachment
Description File Name File Size
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions FAQs Growth Through Agriculture.pdf 168 KB
GTA Sample Application GTA - Sample Application0619.pdf 266 KB
Credit Check Release Form - send separately via Mail, Fax or send via - DO NOT EMAIL / DO NOT ATTACH to APPLICATION GTACreditCheckRelease0619.docx 21 KB
GTA Financial Spreadsheet GTAFinancialStatement2019.xlsx 25 KB
Key Financial Assumptions - Sample Template GTAKeyFinancialAssumptions.doc 72 KB
Webgrants Registration Instructions WebGrantsRegistrationInstructions-GTA.doc 259 KB
 Website Links
 Click on the URL to go to website
Description Growth Through Agriculture Website GTA Application Steps - GTA Website - Click on "To Apply for Funding" Section Credit Check Release Form GTA Program Guidelines
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