Food & Ag Development Center

History

Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center is one of the centers in the Food and Agriculture Development Center (FADC) Network. The FADC Network helps Montanans innovate and grow businesses that produce and commercialize food, agricultural and renewable energy products and processes, creating wealth and jobs in our communities and on our farms and ranches. The centers operate as a statewide network serving community-based businesses throughout Montana.

The centers support economic development by ensuring that more of the state's food, agricultural and energy dollars circulate in Montana.

 

For more information on the FADC Network, visit their website.

Business Assistance

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Our staff is ready to assist our clients in the capitalization of their business. We offer the following capitalization assistance:

  • Grant writing
  • Loan packaging through conventional sources
  • Microloans
  • Revolving loan programs
                                                                                                 

For more information about these programs and other services the Center offers, please refer to the Business Development Center's page.

In addition to our loan programs, we have successfully assisted value added agriculture and food entrepreneur businesses with securing state and federal capital through the following programs:

Food Safety Program

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Food Safety is a significant concern of today’s food consumer. Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center’s staff can assist our clients in meeting FDA and USDA regulations that govern their food businesses and to ensure a safe product for public consumption. We can assist in the development of:

We support efforts that build the capacity of Montana small producers and processors in meeting the new food safety requirements in the Food Safety Modernization Act. Our center has developed and launched on farm food safety training and toolkits for small producers and have assisted groups of producers to pursue Group GAP certification.

Food Safety Modernization Act

The FDA Food Modernization Act (FSMA) every producer and processor is charged with insuring they produce a safe wholesome product. In 2012, MMFEC adopted a comprehensive facility wide Food Safety Program. Any client using the facility to process their products is under the umbrella of that program and is assisted in the development of their product specific HACCP plan. The Center offers numerous resources to clients who operate their own facility in the development of their own Food Safety Programs.

Hazard Analysis Control Point (HACCP) Plan

USDA mandates any meat processing be conducted under Hazardous Analytical Control Point Plan (HACCP). Our HACCP team is experienced in developing meat and other food processes. HACCP (Hazardous Analytical Critical Control Point Plan) plans and offers technical assistance to companies who need to develop a HACCP plan for their food product. We also assist in the development of the necessary prerequisite programs such as Good Manufacturing, Sanitary and Safe Operating Procedures and others that are necessary for a company to meet FDA and USDA regulations. We offer annual training in HACCP certification in collaboration with Montana Manufacturing Extension Service.

For more information contact Yvette Rodriguez, MMFEC Food Safety Coordinator, at 676-0676 ext. 106.

Better Process Control School

Regulations for thermally processed low acid and acidified foods packaged in hermetically sealed containers (21 CFR 108, 113, and 114) are designed to prevent public health problems from commercially canned foods. The regulations require that operators of processing and packaging systems and container closure inspectors be under the operating supervision of a person who has attended and successfully completed appropriate instruction prescribed by FDA. Better Process Control Schools (BPCS) provide practical applications of principles set forth in the regulations and satisfy the training requirements of both FDA and USDA.

For more information on upcoming trainings contact Yvette Rodriguez, MMFEC Food Safety Coordinator, at 676-0676 ext. 106.

ON Farm Food Safety

Our center, in partnership with the Montana Department of Agriculture, NCAT and National Farmers Union, developed resources for small scale farmers to assist them in understanding and developing their on-farm food safety plans. Trainings and technical assistance are provided to farmers across Montana.

Group GAP

GroupGAP is a new service (available Spring 2016) from USDA to audit farmers to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Small farmers are feeling the pressure to get third-party certified as more buyers are requiring GAP certification, and as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) puts them under new regulatory oversight.

In GroupGAP, a food hub, support organization, or central business entity collaborates with producers to establish site-specific best practices for complying with a food safety standard. The group develops and implements a quality management system (QMS) built to an international standard that can be measured, analyzed, reviewed, and continually improved.

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