In 2022, 17 agricultural producers across Montana received more than $2.3 million in direct funds through USDA Rural Development’s Value- Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program which helps these businesses generate new products, create, and expand marketing opportunities, and increase overall producer income with the goal of growing local economies in rural areas.
Montana’s Value-Added Producer Grant recipients in 2022 were:
Todd Family Meats in Big Timber, Montana, received a $48,173 grant to fund processing, packaging, and marketing efforts. Todd Family Meats is a family-owned business that produces and sells packaged beef and lamb products to a growing customer base.
Montana Greenhouse Project 365 in Saco, Montana, received a $49,098 grant for working capital to expand its customer base and increase revenue. Montana Greenhouse grows fruits and vegetables that are sold to local schools, restaurants, and individuals locally, providing produce in a food desert area.
Lane Legacy Beef in Ismay, Montana, received a $49,900 grant to assist with processing and marketing costs so it can expand its customer base. Lane Legacy Beef is a family operated farm and ranch that raises premium grass-fed Black Angus cattle for high quality beef products sold locally and regionally.
North of Nowhere Farm in Opheim, Montana, received a $49,900 grant to assist with processing costs and expand its customer base. North of Nowhere is a majority woman- owned business in a small community of 75 residents that uses regenerative agriculture to raise grass-fed beef and produce nutritional beef sticks.
BB Farms and Soap Co., in Jordan, Montana, received a $49,998 grant to provide working capital for packaging, purchasing additional ingredients and to develop a marketing plan. B&B, a woman-owned rural small business located in a town of 356 residents, produces all-natural soaps and skin care products using goats milk harvested right there on the farm.
Swanky Roots, Inc., in Billings, Montana, received a $49,999 grant to finance marketing, distribution, and personnel costs. Swanky Roots is a woman-owned aquaponics greenhouse specializing in organically grown mixed lettuce and produce which they sell to consumers, local restaurants, and retailers throughout southeastern Montana.
Delpine Farms in Martinsdale, Montana, received a $49,999 grant to boost marketing, labor costs, packaging, and distribution. Delpine Farms is a family-owned mixed vegetable garden and market serving small nearby communities by providing ready access to fresh produce.
Wicked Good Produce in Whitefish, Montana, received a $49,999 grant to assist with payroll, packaging and labeling of products so it can expand its customer base. Wicked Good is a small-scale, diversified vegetable farm that provides local communities with access to freshly grown produce.
Big Sky Orchards in Big Fork, Montana, received a $76,500 grant to expand its customer base and increase profitability. Big Sky is a local orchard that produces and sells pelletized hops to craft breweries throughout Montana.
Kokoro Flowers, LLC, in Bozeman, Montana, received a $194,210 grant to assist with payroll, packaging and marketing so it can meet growing demand for its products. Kokoro is a small organic farm specializing in growing flowers and vegetables.
Math Farms Beef in Whitewater, Montana, received a $211,436 grant to help with processing, packaging, marketing, and operational expenses. Math Farms Beef produces pasture-raised, grain-finished 100% pure Black Angus beef products.
Bar L Diamond, Inc., in Townsend, Montana, received a $248,000 grant to assist with production, processing and shipping costs so this small ranching operation can expand its customer base and increase profitability.
Belcrest, LLC, in Bozeman, Montana, received a $250,000 grant to fund production, packaging, distribution, marketing, advertising, payroll, and daily operational costs. Belcrest is a small, family-owned ranching operation that produces all-natural, dry-aged, ranch raised beef.
E&S Ranch in Eureka, Montana, received a $250,000 grant to assist this direct-to-the- consumer grass-fed beef business with processing costs so it can meet the growing demand for its product in the Flathead Valley region.
Pintler Mountain Beef in Philipsburg, Montana, received a $250,000 grant to assist with processing and marketing costs. Pintler Mountain Beef is a direct-to-the-consumer business that sells antibiotic and hormone free, humanely raised, sustainable, wildlife- friendly premium grass fed and finished beef and other meat products.
Valley Girl Mushrooms dba M&R Services in Kila, Montana received a $250,000 grant to pay for processing supplies, packaging, shipping, marketing, and payroll operations. Valley Girl is a small rural business that produces locally grown wholesale gourmet mushrooms.
Black Dog Farm, LLC in Livingston, Montana received a $250,000 grant for processing, packaging, and marketing of its products. Black Dog Farm is a family-owned small business producing pasture-raised pork, poultry, and egg products.
Value Added Producer Grants are awarded through a national competition and are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and an announcement posted on Grants.gov. Applications for 2023 grants are now being accepted and are due by May 16, 2023.
USDA Rural Development has six offices in Montana – Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas in Montana, call (406) 585-2540 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/mt.
Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas by supporting improvements in infrastructure, business development, housing, and community facilities in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.