Montana WSARE PDP Grant Programs 2022-2024

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2021: $90,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2024
Grant Recipient: Montana State University Extension Service
Region: Western
State: Montana
State Coordinator:
Patrick Mangan
Montana State University Extension Service


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay, potatoes, triticale, wheat
  • Fruits: apples, berries (brambles), berries (other), berries (strawberries), cherries, grapes, peaches, plums
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cucurbits, garlic, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces), lentils, onions, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
  • Additional Plants: native plants, trees
  • Animals: bees, bovine, goats, poultry, sheep, swine
  • Animal Products: eggs, fiber, fur, leather, honey, meat


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, grazing management, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, manure management, meat processing, meat processing facilities, pasture renovation, pasture fertility, range improvement, rangeland/pasture management
  • Crop Production: beekeeping, food processing facilities/community kitchens, food product quality/safety, greenhouses, high tunnels or hoop houses, low tunnels, pollination, pollinator habitat, pollinator health
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: agritourism, business planning, farm-to-restaurant, farmers' markets/farm stands, new enterprise development, value added
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, organic certification, permaculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: composting, green manures, organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: food hubs, local and regional food systems, urban agriculture, values-based supply chains

    Proposal abstract:

    The Montana PDP program for WSARE will utilize grant funding for two types of programs in the years 2022-2024. We will offer small professional development travel grants, and will also offer larger program development and implementation grants for training program applicants. 

    Montana will continue our professional development mini-grant program, making small allotments of funds available, up to $2,500 per applicant, for use in attending professional development trainings offered across the state, region, and nationally. These professional development travel grants are important to agriculture professionals and organizations throughout the state of Montana. Past grants have been used to travel and attend trainings out of state, as well as to bring speakers and training opportunities into Montana for the benefit of producers and agricultural professionals. We anticipate offering eight to ten professional development travel grants, totaling approximately $30,000 over the period of the grant. 

    The Montana PDP program will develop and release a call for proposals for training programs of up to $15,000 during the grant period. The training program awards can be used to develop and implement training programs around sustainable agriculture topics in the state of Montana. The call for proposal will encourage development of multi-year professional development opportunities that address topics in: climate change and resiliency in agriculture, COVID resiliency in agriculture, diversity and inclusion in agriculture, and food security. We anticipate awarding two to four training programs of up to $15,000 each during the duration of the grant. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Montana’s objectives through the PDP mini-grant program are to increase knowledge, skills, and understanding of sustainable agricultural practices throughout the state as a result of interactions and involvement with one or more of the proposals funded through the mini-grant system, with the ultimate objective of documented implementation of that new knowledge at the producer and agribusiness level. With the mini-grant system, the Montana PDP program supports multiple projects in different fields of agriculture, and increases the overall impact of funding through offering a wide variety of project types.

    In 2021, seed potato producers, beef cattle ranchers, berry growers, certified organic growers, cereal grain producers, Extension professionals, and many other groups of constituents all applied to receive funding for professional development programming. The diversity of opportunity to gain new knowledge and information directly related to the specialty field the agricultural producers and professionals work in helps to inform and encourage a change in practice when presented with new and innovative approaches to agriculture and sustainability.

    In the 2022-2024 funding years the Montana PDP program has a special emphasis on increasing the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and application of knowledge learned in adapting to climate change and extreme weather events in agricultural settings. Additional priorities are to increase food security to at risk communities, and to do additional outreach to our underserved populations and communities.  Given the realities of the the 2021 growing season we plan to prioritize educational opportunities that will increase knowledge and awareness of sustainable agricultural practices that will lead to the adoption of practices in times of extreme weather events. 

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.