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Ag Council Selects Growth Through Farm Projects

Montana program awards $211,000 to nine firms.

The Montana Agriculture Development Council has awarded $211,860 to nine Growth Through Agriculture projects for agricultural development.

"Growth Through Agriculture is a key program in the Montana Department of Agriculture's efforts to assist entrepreneurs in adding value to the state's agricultural commodities and enhance business opportunities in rural communities," says Ron de Young, MDA director.

The ADC oversees the GTA program, the source of funding the council uses for project investments. The goal of the GTA program is to provide financial assistance to develop new products and innovative ideas.

The newest awards went to the following firms:

  • Going to the Sun Fiber Mill, LCC, in Kalispell, Mont.: $26,000 return-on-investment deferred loan for equipment to increase the mill's specialty weaving and spinning capacity and efficiency.
  • Vintage Cheese of Montana, LCC, Bozeman: $15,000 grant for a market study to research potential wholesalers and retailers.
  • Lee's Worm Shack, Glendive: $11,350 return-on-investment deferred loan for facility upgrades; $10,700 grant for advertising and promotion of products.
  • Native Ideals Seed Company, LCC, Arlee: $8,160 grant for marketing and promotion to assist in development of a local market for grasses and wildflowers native to Montana.
  • Montana Organic Producers Cooperative, Boulder: $22,350 grant for research of regional and national organic grass-finished beef market.
  • Earl Fisher Bio-Fuels, LLP, Chester: $44,400 grant for advertising and promotion of products and oilseed meal market development.
  • Botanie Spa Organics, Inc., Missoula: $25,000 return-on-investment deferred loan for market research of products that rely on Montana grown organic safflower oil for a new product line.
  • Montana Fuel Technologies, Bozeman: $15,000 grant for testing of the business's fuel additive product made from camelina.
  • Montana Poultry Growers Cooperative, Ronan: $16,000 return-on-investment deferred loan for equipment and supplies for the co-op's mobile poultry processing facility; $17,900 grant for design and development of the mobile processing unit, promotional material, and development of a project training program.

For information on the program, as well as applications for funding, contact Collin Watters, GTA program manager, at (406) 444-2402 or by e-mail at

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