Food & Ag Development Center
The centers support economic development by ensuring that more of the state’s food, agricultural and energy dollars circulate in Montana. The network provides training, coaching and technical assistance, including:
Product development, testing and analysis
Access to financing
Education on industry dynamics and technologies
Regulatory compliance training
Business planning and development
State Grants & Loans
Federal Grants & Loans
Montana Department of Agriculture
Growth Through Agriculture Program: Deadline for Pre-Application is October 4th, 2021 at 5:00 pm.
Specialty Crop Block Grant: Deadline to submit application is TBD.
For more information, please contact our FADC Director
WHAT IS VALUE-ADDED AGRICULTURE?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Business Development defines value-added products as follows: a change in physical state or form of the product, the production of a product in a manner that enhances its value, as demonstrated in a business plan, and the physical segregation of an agricultural commodity or product in a manner that results in the enhancement of the value of that commodity or product. As a result of the change in physical state or the manner in which the agricultural commodity or product is produced and segregated, the customer base for the commodity or product is expanded and a greater portion of revenue derived from the marketing, processing or physical segregation is made available to the producer of the commodity or product. Value added is the process and development of a differentiated, high value, consumer oriented products and in the content of the FADC program based upon a Montana produced or harvested agricultural raw goods, including farm-derived renewable energy. Value added agricultural products create additional avenues to compete nationally and at margins that help ensure profitability.
Farmer’s markets play a valuable role in promoting healthy communities in Montana. While shoppers enjoy the freshness and taste of locally grown foods, and vendors capture more of the value of their products from direct sales to their customers, money is circulated through the local economy. If you are interested in starting a market, refer to Starting a Farmers’ Market in Montana, a guidebook from NCAT, AERO and USDA. For more resources, visit https://agr.mt.gov/Farmers-Markets.
WHAT IS AGRITOURISM?
Agritourism is a form of commercial enterprise that links agricultural production or agricultural processing with tourism in order to attract visitors to a farm, ranch, or other agricultural business for purposes of entertaining or educating the visitors. In 2017, House Bill 342 was passed into law which added agritourism to the list of Montana Recreational Activities. Agritourism connects farms to communities. Examples of agritourism activities include farm and business tours, farm-to-table dinners, farm stays, workshops, and special events such as weddings. Read more about current Montana agritourism in the Agritourism Manual.