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Success Stories

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Woman standing in kitchen next to basket of processed meat products

Grant Makes Dream a Reality for Montana Small Business

In southwestern Fallon County near Ismay, a long, gravel road crisscrosses a landscape reminiscent of the Badlands. Twenty miles down the road through a beautiful valley brings one to Crescent Cross Ranch, home to a fourth generation Montana ranching family, the Lanes.  Their… [Read More]
Water filtration system inside new building

Bringing Safe, Reliable Water to Rural Montana Town

In the shadow of central Montana’s Crazy Mountains sits Wilsall, a picturesque community of 200 rural residents who – with a little help from USDA Rural Development – now have a safe, reliable water supply. Nearly six years ago, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (… [Read More]
Woman and man standing in front of concession stand at movie theater.

Energy Grant Helps the “Show Go On” in Southeast Montana

Ever since moving pictures began, Main Street U.S.A.’s neon-lighted movie theaters have provided a beloved escape for small town residents. As Rosebud County’s only theater, the Roxy has been a cultural mainstay ever since it replaced Forsyth’s old silent film theater back in… [Read More]
Woman sitting at table with home made soaps, lotions, and balms.

Lifelong Love of Animals Blossoms into Successful Small Business

Little did lifelong animal lover Stephanie Smotherman know her affinity for critters would lead to a barnyard full of animals and a thriving small business in the rural eastern community of Jordan.  Named for daughters Brook and Belle, BB Farms and Soap Company produces “Made… [Read More]
Woman and man standing in front of their home in Montana.

Disaster Grant Helps Montana Homeowners Recover from Historic Flood

In May 2022, Tim and CJ Wyman thought all might be lost when the Yellowstone River crested its banks, flooding their modest Fromberg neighborhood.  This 100-year flood event wreaked havoc up and down their quiet street, and if not for a grant from USDA, they might have had to… [Read More]
Ranchers in pasture with their cows

Todd Family Meats Raised with Love from Montana

On a small, abandoned generational ranch along the banks of the Yellowstone River just outside Big Timber, ranchers Heidi and Gary Todd ring the dinner bell, calling their cattle herd to a feast of hay protein snacks. Starting with six cows in 2007 and building the herd slowly… [Read More]
Woman holding lettuce grown in aquaponic greenhouse.

Family Roots Run Deep Growing Aquaponic Produce in Montana

Dinner plates in Billings, Montana, will have more leafy greens thanks to a family-owned farm and grant from USDA Rural Development. Taking its name from family and honoring its deep Montana history, Swanky Roots is a year-round aquaponics greenhouse specializing in organically… [Read More]
Librarians present and past, Tina Peterson (L) and Kathleen Schreiber (R) in Harlowton's Library.

Local Library “More than Just Books” for Rural Montana Town

“The Light Lies on the Farther Hills,” was the motto of the Harlowton Women’s Club at is founding in 1921. The club’s first project was to establish a public library for the town to “stimulate intellectual development and promote fellowship.” That same year, the Harlowton… [Read More]
Community gathers to celebrate NACDC Financial Services, Inc., $1 million grant award.

Advancing Homeownership on Montana's Tribal Lands

On a sun-drenched, snowy day in Browning, Montana, community leaders gathered at NACDC Financial Services, Inc., to celebrate NACDC’s receipt of a $1 million USDA grant to expand single family homeownership on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The award is part of USDA Rural… [Read More]
Kira and Tim, owners of Black Dog Farm in Livingston, Mont.

Four Chickens and a Dream Hatch into Successful Montana Poultry Farm

Named to honor a beloved family pet, an adopted black Lab-Border Collie mix, Black Dog Farm originally started with four chickens and a dream and has since grown into a successful woman-owned rural small business on a 35-acre homestead in the hills near Livingston, Montana… [Read More]