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Headwaters RC&D

March 2024 Newsletter

Serving Southwest Montana:

Anaconda-Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Butte-Silver Bow, Granite, Jefferson, Madison & Powell Counties


Between our loan programs, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Food and Agriculture Development Center (FADC), homebuyer education program, EPA Brownfields program, and our Specialty Crop Block Grant program, Headwaters RC&D is here to serve Southwest Montana and improve the economic vitality of our region!

Montana Community Foundation (MCF) will grant out $1.5 Million to Montana organizations from the Otto Bremer Trust Community Responsive Fund.

Montana Community Foundation has an amazing opportunity to support Montana communities through a partnership with the Otto Bremer Trust. As a trusted partner to the Otto Bremer Trust the Montana Community Foundation (MCF) will grant out $1.5 Million to Montana organizations from the Otto Bremer Trust Community Responsive Fund. This one-year program will support local organizations that are directly responding to immediate challenges in their communities.


Program requirements:

  • Organizations or program purposes that address relevant community priorities and align with the following funding priorities- Basic Needs, Community Asset Building, Health and Wellbeing, and Restorative and Emergency Responsive. 

  • Organizations and programs that provide direct service to address immediate needs within their communities.

  • Beneficiaries of grantees must reside in Montana. Current Otto Bremer Trust grantees are eligible to apply.

  • IRS determined 501(c)3 organizations, no fiscal sponsorships.

  • Grant amounts will be between $10,000- $75,000.

Subscribe & Listen to our podcast, Business ChitChat, for businesses and agricultural professionals in Southwest Montana!


Business ChitChat is a podcast sharing resources for and stories of entrepreneurship, business, agriculture, and economic development in Southwest Montana. Hosted by Kayla Lappin, Director of Marketing and Business Recruitment


The Latest Episodes:

  • Starting a Business from Scratch with Jen & Lisa at Recreate Climbing + Fitness

  • Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG) with Marlee Johnston at USDA Rural Development

  • How Farmer Boy Eggs Leveraged Grants to Grow their Business

  • Community Land Trust as an Affordable Housing Solution with Dawn Conklin of Trust Montana


How can Headwaters SBDC help you and your business?

Upcoming Training:


April: 5-Week Website Building Course


Have you been putting off getting a website ready for your business? Do you have a website but maybe want to simplify it or add advanced features? Do you want to manage your website on your own and learn how to keep things simple? Course instructor and web designer and Marketing Director, Kayla Lappin, will work with students on website setup using Wix platforms. Websites can be set up for e-commerce, client scheduling, or simply just to have a web presence. This course is designed for beginners & those with existing websites who want instruction on advanced features of websites. 


Cost: $125 + the cost of your platform (free versions available! Attendees are responsible for their own website fees, the course does not cover these.)


Course Dates & Times:

  • April 2: 4-6pm Introduction & Planning Your Website

  • April 9: 4-6pm Navigation, Page Setup, Content Planning

  • April 16: 4-6pm SEO and Design

  • April 23: 4-6pm Advanced Features (adding forms, blogs, e-commerce, social media, and more) - Planning for Maintenance of your website

  • April 30: 4-6pm Questions and Answers Session - Time slots


There will be homework assignments associated with each class and Kayla will be available for questions in between classes.


This class will be taking place virtually.

Classes will be recorded and available for replay!

Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG) Deadline is April 11!

What does this program do?

The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program helps agricultural producers enter value-added activities to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.

You may receive priority if you are:

  • Beginning farmer or rancher.

  • Socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher.

  • Small or medium-sized farm.

  • Ranch structured as a family farm.

  • Farmer or rancher cooperative.

  • Proposing a mid-tier value chain.

Grants are awarded through a national competition. Paper applications due April 16, 2024 Electronic applications due April 11, 2024


Headwaters RC&D can help you apply for these grants from start to finish!

Contact Karley today to get your application submitted today!


Karley Carter

Food and Ag Development Center Director 

(406) 533-6784


Want to learn more about VAPG grants? Check out these podcast episodes:

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Need help with your ag business? Register for Headwaters FADC & Specialty Crop Services today!

As a Food & Agricultural Development Center, Headwaters is part of a statewide network that provides assistance in food and value-added agricultural product development, marketing, and farm-based energy development. With centers in Joliet, Havre, Ronan, Bozeman, Greatfalls, Wolf Point and Butte, the network focuses on adding value to existing agricultural resources within Montana.

We work to support economic development by ensuring that more of the state’s food, agricultural and energy dollars circulate in Montana by keeping more of our agricultural products within the state by processing them locally.

Here at Headwaters, our services and expertise include:


  • Educational and training workshops

  • Revolving and micro loan funds

  • Business plan assistance

  • Financial and market assistance

  • Food system research and analysis

  • Renewable energy, including biomass

Additional training, coaching and technical assistance provided by the network, include:


  • Product development, testing and analysis

  • Regulatory compliance training

  • Food processing

  • Business planning and development

  • Market research

  • Business networking

  • Access to financing

  • Cooperative development

  • Education on industry dynamics and technologies

For more information please contact:


Karley Carter

Food and Ag Development Center Director 

(406) 533-6784


Homebuyer Education has Virtual and in-person Class Options!

In partnership with NeighborWorks Montana, Headwaters RC&D offers in-depth information on all aspects of homeownership through a series of classes held throughout Headwaters economic development region on a bi-monthly basis. This is a great program for new and experienced home buyers, and provides a great opportunity to become a more educated home buyer.

The first step to creating successful homeowners is education. Educated homeowners stay in their homes longer, take pride in their properties, and have one-third less foreclosures. Headwaters offers Homebuyer Education Classes, an 8-hour course covering all aspects of the home buying process.


Next Class is June 4&5, 2024


June Homebuyer Education Class


June 4th & 5th, 2024 (BOTH DAYS REQUIRED)


Dinner Will Be Provided


Learn About:

  • Budgeting & Credit

  • Mortgage Process

  • Down Payment Assistance & Closing Cost Programs

  • Homeowners & Title Insurance

  • Other Aspects of Homeownership

  • Get a certificate upon completion



Logann Lovshin


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EPA Brownfields Revolving Loan & Grant Fund

What's a Brownfield Site?

A Brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.


Q: How do you know if your property needs to be cleaned up?

A: Through a site assessment


Q: Does Headwaters RC&D conduct the site assessments?

A: No, BUT, we will help you work with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to do a site assessment. 


If you are a private property owner, and your site is found to need clean-up, you can apply for a loan with Headwaters RC&D to clean up your site. 


If you are a municipality or a non-profit entity, and your site is found to need clean-up, you can apply for a grant with Headwaters RC&D to clean up your site. 


Contact Headwaters RC&D today to learn about our Brownfields Program!

Melissa Wanamaker


Join Montana Apex and Project Spectrum to learn more about Cybersecurity Requirements for Federal Contracting.

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Please join the Montana APEX and Project Spectrum for a VIRTUAL webinar to learn more about Cybersecurity requirements for Federal Contracting. Project Spectrum is a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) recognized cybersecurity awareness initiative offering resources, training, and tools toward increasing cybersecurity awareness for businesses. The webinar will be an overview of Project Spectrum support and resources & overview cybersecurity requirements. Topics to Cover: * Current Cyber Threat Landscape * Why Small Businesses are Lucrative Targets * Government Guidance, Mandates and Requirements (NIST, CMMC, FAR, DFARS) * Project Spectrum's Cyber Advisory Services * Project Spectrum's Training Courses * Project Spectrum's Proprietary Cybersecurity Tool Development * Engagement with Project Spectrum Who should attend? Any business in any industry who are interested in learning more about cybersecurity compliance. The importance of cybersecurity compliance will be essential when pursuing government contracts. Join the webinar to learn more about CMMC levels (1,2 & 3), NIST SP 800-171, FAR 52.204.21 and DFARS 252.204-7020 compliance. Don't miss this FREE webinar to learn more about cybersecurity and cybersecurity tools aimed toward improving overall cyber hygiene for ALL businesses!


Topics To Cover:

  • Safeguarding Data and Info. for Federal Contracts

  • Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)

  • How Project Spectrum can help with the CMMC Journey

  • Current Cyber Threat Landscape

  • Why Small Businesses are Lucrative Targets

  • Government Guidance, Mandates, and Requirements

  • FAR e.g. (NIST, CMMC, FAR, DFARS, etc.)

  • Project Spectrum’s Cyber Advisory Services

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