New program

Montana has a new financial assistance program to help ag producers and other ag businesspeople with loss of funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, the Montana Department of Agriculture announced the new Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program.

For more information on the new program and other programs, see https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief or directly for the ag adaptability grants, mtaap@mt.gov.

Montana has a new financial assistance program to help ag producers and other ag businesspeople with loss of funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, the Montana Department of Agriculture announced the new Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program.

“The funds are the result of state allocations under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and Montana received $1.25 billion in federal emergency relief through that program,” said Barnett G. Sporkin-Morrison, director of the Food & Ag Development Center, Great Falls Development Authority.

Gov. Steve Bullock set up an Advisory Council to “help direct the funds in a timely and appropriate manner.”

“The Montana Department of Agriculture, in coordination with other state government entities, has launched their portion of the coronavirus funds ($500,000) under the new Montana Agricultural Adaptability Program,” Sporkin-Morrison said.

The maximum grant allocations were set at $10,000 per applicant. 

Other elements of state government launched other programs, as well.

“There are other grant opportunities under the coronavirus relief efforts deployed by the state that can benefit those in the agricultural and food space, such as the Montana Innovation Grant Program,” she said.

Grants are intended to create additional economic activity and bolster food security.

Some examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to: projects focused on accessing new markets; projects which strengthen and expand local food systems; and projects that decrease food and agricultural waste.

For more information on the new program, see https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief or directly for the ag adaptability grants, mtaap@mt.gov.