Governor Bullock Announces Over $600,000 to Grow and Diversify Montana’s Agriculture Economy
HELENA, MT – Governor Steve Bullock and the Agriculture Development Council today announced over $600,000 in grants and loans to agricultural businesses and organizations across Montana.
“Agriculture is the backbone of Montana’s economy and it’s important that we continue to invest in the industry that support thousands of good-paying jobs for hard-working Montanans and their families,” said Governor Bullock. “This funding will support growth and diversification throughout the agriculture industry by adding value to Montana’s high-quality agriculture products in new and innovative ways.”
A total of 17 businesses and organizations were awarded $509,701 in grants and $140,000 in loans through the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program which was established by the legislature to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agricultural industry by boosting development or new agricultural products and processes.
The Growth Through Agriculture program grants and loans are awarded by the Agriculture Development Council, a seven-member committee appointed by the Governor.
Three projects aim to assist and enhance Montana’s burgeoning pulse crop (peas, lentils, chickpeas) industry. Stricks Ag LLC received a grant for $49,488 and a loan for $100,000 for construction and equipment purchases to assist the expansion of their pulse processing facility in Chester, Montana, while Pardue Grain also received a grant for $48,000 to assist in the expansion of their pulse processing facility in Cut Bank, Montana.
Additionally, Pulses of Montana received a grant for $5,000 for recipe development for the pulse food company in Joliet, Montana. Montana’s production of pulses has increased dramatically in recent years, eclipsing 1 million acres this past year.
“We had many great proposals during this funding cycle and we are very excited about the projects that were funded. It’s definitely an exciting time for Montana agriculture,” said Agriculture Development Council Chair, Amy Kellogg. “The projects are a great cross-section of the diverse nature of Montana’s agriculture industry.”
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.
Fall 2016 GTA Recipients:
Watchdog Winery – A grant for $7,500 to assist with vineyard costs including irrigation, plants and fencing materials for the new Bozeman area vineyard.
Ravalli Hops LLC – A grant for $25,000 to assist with the expansion of the hops farm near Stevensville, Montana.
The Emperor of Ice Cream – A grant for $10,000 for cooler and freezer equipment to assist the company near Big Sky with the storage and distribution of Montana foods.
Stricks LLC – A grant for $49,488.44 and a loan for $100,000 for construction and equipment purchases to assist the expansion of the pulse processing facility in Chester, Montana.
Pardue Grain – A grant for $48,000 to assist the expansion of the pulse processing facility in Cut Bank, Montana.
Bear Paw Meats LLC – A grant for $50,000 to assist the expansion of the meat processing facility in Chinook, Montana.
County Rail Farm – A grant for $40,000 for supplies, materials and equipment for the expansion of the vegetable farm in Huson, Montana.
Cut Bank Creek Brewery – A grant for $40,000 for brewing equipment to assist with the start-up of the new brewery in Cut Bank, Montana.
Busted Knuckle Brewery, LLC – A grant for $39,250 for brewing equipment to assist with the expansion of the brewery in Glasgow, Montana.
Western Cider Company LLC – A grant for $50,000 for cider processing and canning equipment for the new cidery in Missoula, Montana.
Montana State University – A grant for $4,500 for costs to develop a web-based wool pool delivery software to increase the efficiency of wool pool deliveries and keeps track of pool members wool consignment, weight, and grade of wool.
Lake County Community Development Corporation – A grant for $40,333 for freezer storage and food processing equipment for the community-based food processing center located in Ronan, Montana.
Tabletree Montana LLC – A grant for $40,000 for cherry processing equipment to assist with the expansion of the cherry juice company in the Flathead Valley.
Stillwater Packing Co – A grant for $20,000 for meat processing equipment to assist with the expansion of the USDA meat processing facility in Columbus, Montana.
Stetson Ranches LLC – A grant for $40,000 for equipment to assist with the expansion of the composting operation located near Fromberg, Montana.
Pulses of Montana – A grant for $5,000 for recipe development for the pulse food company in Joliet, Montana.
C&K Meats – A loan for $40,000 for equipment to assist with the expansion of the meat processing company in Forsyth, Montana.
Source: Governor Steve Bullock's Office
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