The Roundup -

Growth Through Agriculture Awards $330,000

Projects range from ice cream to irrigation


Today, Governor Bullock, the Montana Department of Agriculture and the Agriculture Development Council announced the recipients of $333,404 in funding for agricultural related projects.

“We are pleased to announce the Growth Through Agriculture award recipients. These 17 projects aim to enhance agriculture, grow our rural economy and create jobs. When we add value to our agricultural products in Montana, more money stays in the local community and on Main Street,” said Governor Steve Bullock.

The Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program provides grants and loans to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agricultural industry through development of new agricultural products and processes.

“We had over one million dollars worth of projects submitted to the council this round, which wasn’t easy to whittle down to just over $330,000,” said Chairman David Tyler. “We think our selections have promise, and will have a positive impact on agriculture and the state’s economy.”

One awardee was Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, a Whitefish based company that uses local products and flavoring in their ice cream. They received $15,200 to help purchase equipment to assist in transporting ice cream, some of which will be traveling to their new, expanded location in Missoula.

“Part of the Governor’s Main Street Montana Project is to promote Montana agricultural products by adding value to what we grow and produce in Montana. This program is where the rubber hits the road; we fund agricultural projects that add value and diversify agriculture,” said Ron de Yong, department of agriculture director.

Located on Main Street in Terry, Mont., the Powder River Meat Company has been serving the region’s processing needs for the last 16 years. The company was recently purchased by new owners, who have been busy remodeling and looking for expansion opportunities. Their $24,500 award will allow them to purchase meat processing equipment and assist with construction costs associated with the expansion.

The council identified several areas of focus this year, including irrigation, malt production, and businesses transitioning beyond direct sales. The next application deadline is September 15, 2014. More information and a list of previously funded projects are available on the Growth Through Agriculture website at

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

Spring 2014 GTA Funded Projects:

Montana Horizons Food Co. - $16,800 grant for the purchase of a vertical form fill packaging machine for an organic Kamut® snack, similar to corn nuts, grown and made in Big Sandy, Mont.

Anderson Orchards - $7,744 grant for the purchase of countertops and a three-compartment sink to assist the expansion of value-added fruit processing project in Rudyard, Mont.

Sweet Peaks Ice Cream - $15,200 grant for the purchase of a refrigerated trailer to transport Montana made ice cream using milk and other locally grown ingredients.

Britz Ranch - $42,000 grant for the purchase of a commercial hops harvester to assist with the second phase of the Montana hops research project near Kalispell, Mont.

Root Cellar Foods - $38,550 grant for the purchase of a commercial food washer to assist produce processing in Bozeman, Mont.

Powder River Meat Co. - $24,500 grant for the purchase of meat processing equipment and construction costs to assist the expansion of the company in Terry, Mont.

Fort Peck Water Users Association - $32,982 grant for irrigation turnouts and installations as proposed to assist the agricultural producers of the Fort Peck Irrigation Project in Fork Peck, Mont.

Billingsley Cider - $10,000 grant for a walk-in cooler to assist with the expansion of an apple orchard to supply cider producers in Stevensville, Mont.

Cream of the West - $13,500 loan for co-packing equipment to assist in the expansion of the company’s operations in Harlowton, Mont.

Chalet Market - $33,600 grant for the purchase of a sausage stuffer and other meat processing equipment costs in Belgrade, Mont.

Montana Meat Company - $10,748 grant for the purchase of a meat processing product dicer in Bozeman, Mont.

406 Brewing Company - $12,500 grant for the purchase of lab analysis equipment to assist with the development of the Montana Fermentation Research Center project in Bozeman, Mont.

One Montana - $12,500 grant to expand and detail sales and marketing analysis information to be included in a Montana meat processing feasibility study.

Mr. McGregor’s Garden - $6,000 grant for food processing equipment, including a steam kettle for canning and a convection steamer, to assist in the expansion of a food company in Bozeman, Mont.

Western Feedstock Technologies - $14,350 loan for malt barley analysis equipment in Belgrade, Mont.

Ranchland Packing Co. - $35,000 grant for equipment, construction and installation of a rendering pit to assist with the expansion of the meat processing company in Butte, Mont.

Great Harvest Franchising, Inc. - $7,430 grant to fund the development of a film that would promote Montana grown wheat and the company’s products in Dillon, Mont.


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