[montanafood_ag] FW: GTA Funding Opportunity: Marketing to Farm to School - Deadline 5/13

Matheson, Nancy NMatheson at mt.gov
Tue Apr 16 17:18:16 MDT 2013


Hello!  Below is information on a new, short-term grant opportunity (deadline May 13!) that the Montana Department of Agriculture's Growth through Agriculture program is making available, primarily to Montana food producers and processors, to help them acquire the equipment or other cost item necessary to sell their Montana agricultural products to schools or other institutional food services. Secondarily, schools and other institutional food services may apply for equipment or other items they need to utilize more Montana agricultural products, however institutional applicants are a lower funding priority for this small pilot program.

It is up to the applicant to demonstrate in the application how the equipment, or other needed item(s), will help them access school or institutional markets (or help schools to utilize more Montana products). For example, a Montana food processor might include in the application that they need, for example, a beef patty machine, or a squash peeler, in order to meet the demand and requirements of XYZ School District(s).

Producer/processor applicants need to submit a letter of intent from the school or institution that will purchase the product(s) made possible by the grant. Likewise, school food service applicants will need a letter of intent from a supplier of the Montana food product(s) the school will be able to use if its application is successful.

The maximum grant amount available to an applicants is 50% of the total proposed equipment or other cost, up to $10,000.

We recommend that you contact our office to discuss your application first, in order to ensure your eligibility and that of the proposed equipment or other item. See below for further information and a link to the online application.

Regards,
Nancy

Nancy Matheson
Special Projects Coordinator
Agricultural Marketing and Business Development
Montana Department of Agriculture
302 N. Roberts
PO Box 200201
Helena, MT 59620-0201
(406) 444-2402 ph; (406) 444-9442 fax
nmatheson at mt.gov<mailto:nmatheson at mt.gov>


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Growth Through Agriculture Farm to School - Special Funding Opportunity

The Montana Department of Agriculture and the Montana Agricultural Development Council are offering a special funding opportunity of Growth Through Agriculture(GTA) funds to help increase the amount of Montana-produced agricultural products used in Montana's schools and institutions. Primary consideration will be given to food producers and processors and secondary consideration will be given to schools, school systems and other institutions. Applications will be judged on a competitive basis.

General Criteria for Funding:

Award Amount Range: $0 - $10,000, on a reimbursement basis.

Eligible Uses of Funds:
* Food Producers or Processors: Equipment or other related expenditures needed to access or expand sales to school or institutional markets.
* Schools, School Systems and Other Institutions: Equipment or other related expenditures needed to access or expand purchases of Montana agricultural products.

Match Requirement - $1 for $1 - Successful applicant must cover at least 50% of the cost of equipment purchased. - May request funding from the Council of up to 50% of the equipment costs. Example - May request up to $3,000 towards a $6,000 piece of equipment, applicant will pay other $3,000.

For the purposes of the Farm to School funding opportunity, matching contributions must be from private, federal, state or commodity check-off sources. Matching contributions may not include other state grants.

Eligible Applicants:
* Montana Producers or Processors of Montana agricultural products
* Secondary Applicants Considered: Schools, school systems and other institutions
Any applicant organization other than Sole Proprietorships must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State prior to submittal of the GTA application. Any application from an organization that is not registered with the Montana Secretary of State will not be accepted.

Required Documentation to Submit with Application - Letter of Intent from School:
* Food Producers and Processors: An applicant must provide a Letter of Intent from the authorized food service official from the particular school(s) or institution(s)at the targeted school or institution.
   - Letter must state that the targeted school or institution intends to purchase the product(s) from the applicant if the applicant is able to obtain needed equipment to meet the school/institution's needs and requirements.
* Schools, School systems and Other Institutions:
  - An applicant must provide a Letter of Intent from the producer or processor the applicant intends to purchase Montana-produced goods from.
   - Letter must describe how the needed equipment will enable the applicant to purchase more Montana-grown products.

HOW TO APPLY:

* Register with the Montana Secretary of State. If your company is not already registered with the Montana Secretary of State, you may need to do so before going further with the application process. Organizations other than Sole Proprietorships must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State prior to submittal of the GTA application. Any application from an organization that is not registered with the Montana Secretary of State will not be accepted.

* Request a Username & Password - at least 1-2 days before you plan to start the application. Before you can fill out an application, make sure that you have registered and received a username and password at www.fundingmt.org<http://www.fundingmt.org/> - complete this step as soon as possible as it may take 1-2 days for your registration to be approved. See attached instructions below "Webgrants Registration Instructions"

* Call or email Department of Agriculture Marketing Staff.
If you are interested in applying, once you have registered for a username and password, call or email staff at (406) 444-2402 (ask for Lindy Davies) or gta at mt.gov<mailto:gta at mt.gov> to discuss:
1) What type of equipment or other related expenses you would like to request funds for and
2) Which school(s) or institution(s) you are trying to target.

* Fill out an application.
- Go to www.fundingmt.org<http://www.fundingmt.org/> after registering, log in with your username and password that was emailed to you and click "Start a New Application".
- Select the funding opportunity titled "AGR GTA Farm to School Pilot Program May 13 2013" under Opportunity Title.

Deadline: It is recommended that all applicants try to submit their applications by no later than Sunday, May 12, 2013 in case the applicant has technical difficulties.

FINAL DEADLINE is May 13, 2013 at 2:00pm.

Applicants should be aware that funding decisions will generally occur by June 15, 2013 and will require a signed contract by June 30, 2013.



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