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Schmitt Organic Farms Receives Growth Through Agriculture Grant

Director Christy Clark and the Agriculture Development Council announced recipients of the state’s $818,954 investment in innovative, value-added agriculture projects through the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program.

From Plevna to Kalispell, a total of 22 agricultural businesses throughout the state were awarded funds to advance Montana’s agricultural economy.

“Year after year, MDA’s Growth Through Agriculture program focuses on giving our agricultural businesses the opportunity to grow and expand in order to add more value to their product and improve their bottom lines,” Clark said. “The Department of Agriculture is proud to invest in these innovative projects that will add value to Montana agriculture as well as contribute to economic development and local communities.”

The GTA program was established by the Montana Legislature in 1987 to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agriculture industry through development of new agricultural products and processes.

The GTA program offers funding in the form of a grant or loan or both and funding is determined by a seven member Agriculture Development Council (Council) during scheduled meetings. The Council members are appointed by the Governor. Growth Through Agriculture funding requires the investment of at least a $1 in matching funds for every $1 in program grant or loan assistance received.

Receiving awards were: Schmitt Organic Farms – Wolf Point, $50,000 grant “Vertical Integration of Organic Grain Processing” Farmer Boy Eggs – Drummond, $18,200 grant “Farmer Boy Eggs Equipment Upgrades” Old Salt Meat Company – Helena, $50,000 grant “Growing Montana Value-Added Meat Products” Bruce Seed Farm – Townsend, $25,000 “Seed Processing Facility” Glacier Processing Cooperative – Kalispell, $50,000 grant “Glacier Processing Cooperative Equipment and Efficiency Improvement Project” New England Chowder LLC dba Yellowstone Soup Co – Big Timber, $50,000 grant and $25,000 loan “Yellowstone Soup Co Facility and Market Expansion” Big Sky Butcher LLC – Glendive, $50,000 grant “Big Sky Butcher LLC: Expansion for Inspection Project” Farming Logistics LLC – Kalispell, $41,616 grant “Business Expansion through improvements of our current hops facilities and practices” County Rail Farm dba Field Five Flower – Huson, $18,000 grant “Tulip Program Expansion at County Rail Farm + Field Five Flowers” Horizon Biologics LLC – Bozeman, $41,500 grant “Expansion of production capacity for bovine amniotic fluid products” Eden Feeds – Great Falls, $50,000 grant “Feed Manufacturing Equipment to Increase Production and Create a Safer Work Environment” Crooked Yard Hops – Bozeman, $10,860 grant “Hop Production Facility Infrastructure and Safety Improvements” Skattum Dairy and Ranch – Livingston, $50,000 grant and $16,675 loan “Skattum Dairy Expansion to meet market demand for Montana made milk” Speedy & Flo’s Sweet Corn – Hardin, $50,000 grant “Greenhouse Expansion in Big Horn County” Taste of Paradise LLC – Livingston, $40,000 grant “Taste of Paradise, converting a Grade-A cattle dairy to an independent creamery for the production of cheese and ice cream in Livingston, MT. Adding dairy goats to the line of production for a combination of milk allowing for a unique product.”

Pelz MT LLC – Missoula, $25,000 grant “Machine for Mass Production of Local Montana Pelmeni Dumplings” Homestead Organics Farm – Hamilton, $14,485 grant “Cooking up Opportunity! Upgrading our wholesale commercial kitchen to make it safer, more efficient, and user-friendly to existing and emerging small food entrepreneurs” ZEGO – San Francisco (Belgrade), $25,000 grant “Building a collaborative, vertically integrated value chain for Montana-grown, gluten-free specialty grains in Belgrade, MT” Eagles Acres LLC – St Ignatius, $7,370 grant “Pastured Poultry Expansion” Lame Jones Meats – Plevna, $35,250 grant “Cooler Expansion – GTA” Yellowstone Pasta Company – Billings, $49,998 grant “Expansion of Yellowstone Pasta Company in both regional distribution and addition of employees” Gally’s Brewing Company – Harlowton, $25,000 grant “Addition of Distilling Operations to Gally’s Brewing LLC”

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