Local Growth Through Agriculture Grant Awardee to
Advance Montana Agriculture
Governor Greg Gianforte and the Agriculture Development Council announced recipients of the state’s $896,003 investment in innovative, value-added agriculture projects through the Montana Department of Agriculture’s Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program.
“By investing in innovative, value-added ag projects, we can help Montana producers keep pace with a transforming agricultural industry and capture more of the tremendous value they create,” Gov. Gianforte said. “I look forward to seeing what these ag businesses are able to accomplish with this investment.”
From Circle to Libby, a total of 23 agricultural businesses throughout the state were awarded funds to advance Montana’s agricultural economy.
“Year after year, Montana’s Growth Through Agriculture Program boosts agricultural businesses toward their goals,” Montana Director of Agriculture Christy Clark said. “The Department of Agriculture is proud to invest in these innovative projects that will add value to Montana agriculture and boost our economy.”
The GTA program was established by the Montana Legislature in 1987 to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agriculture industry through innovative agricultural business improvements and the commercialization and marketing of new, value-added agriculture products.
All GTA funding awards require businesses to invest at least $1 in matching funds for every $1 in grant or loan assistance received. The Montana Department of Agriculture administers the program with counsel from the Agriculture Development Council, a seven-member committee appointed by the governor. Successful projects ranged from meat alpaca fiber processing to extending local produce availability.
Local 2023 GROWTH THROUGH AGRICULTURE AWARD:
- Hoot Owl Farm – Libby
$30,000 grant for improvements to farm infrastructure to increase efficiency and productivity.
Courtesy of Montana Department Of Agriculture
Flathead Electric Co-op Announces 2022 Energy Efficiency Savings
:$862,574 paid out to members and partners
Submitted by Courtney Stone
Flathead Electric Cooperative members saved 4,105-megawatt hours (MWhrs) through energy efficiency efforts. These savings were realized by residential members (684 MWhrs); commercial members (2,214 MWhrs); and industrial members (1,207 MWhrs). These energy savings are enough to power 285 average energy-use homes in our area!
The Co-op’s Energy Services department, which advises all members on issues including EV chargers, solar panels, generators, and lighting upgrades, worked with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to issue $862,574 in energy efficiency rebates to these residential, commercial, and industrial members.
Since 2009, the Co-op’s efficiency programs have realized significant energy efficiency gains, totaling about 128,086-megawatt hours. That’s enough energy to power 8,893 average energy-use homes in our area for a year! Since 2012, the Co-op has worked with BPA to issue $16,961,932 in energy efficiency rebates to members.
Co-op members can save energy—and money—by adopting energy conservation habits and installing efficient appliances and heating systems in their homes. Flathead Electric Cooperative can assist members in identifying where their homes may be losing energy and how to proceed with needed upgrades.
In addition, the Co-op works with members to issue rebates for certain energy efficiency efforts. The Co-op reminds members that rebates must be applied for before beginning a project.
Residential rebates may be available for:
- HVAC (heat pumps, thermostats)
- Weatherization (insulation upgrades, window replacements)
- Appliances (Energy Star washers and dryers)
- Water Heating (heat pump water heater)
The Co-op’s commitment to residential energy efficiency efforts extends to assisting members with low-interest, fixed-rate loans to make efficiency upgrades. To qualify for an upgrade loan, the upgrade itself must qualify for a rebate. Loan eligible upgrades include:
- Heat Pump
On the commercial side, the Co-op supports energy efficiency efforts in lighting, HVAC, insulation, windows, commercial kitchen and food service equipment, plug load, and commercial new construction and building design.
To learn more about residential and commercial energy efficiency efforts and opportunities, call the Energy Services Department at 406-751-4483 or visit the Co-op’s website: www.flatheadelectric.com/save