September 19, 2023

Montana Department of Agriculture Sees Increase in Grant Program Applicants

An agricultural grant and loan program in Montana received a record number of applications this year.

the Growth through agriculture offers grants of up to $50,000 and loans of up to $100,000 to agricultural producers seeking to develop new products and improve productivity.

The state Department of Agriculture announced this week that it had received 158 proposals requesting funding of $7.8 million, which is the most it has ever received since the program’s inception in 1987.

Jim Auer manages grants for the Montana Department of Agriculture. He says the application process was overhauled this year, which may have led to an increase in the number of applicants. And he says other grants offered during the pandemic, such as the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant, have raised awareness of funding opportunities.

“These kind of raised our profile in the state. All of a sudden, after we made those phone calls, people interested in farm subsidy programs started coming in,” he says.

In the last cycle, the Grow Through Farming program funded 30 grants totaling approximately $800,000.

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