Great Northern Pasta to Expand Distribution

By Beacon Staff

With the help of a grant from Montana’s Growth Through Agriculture program, Great Northern Pasta in Whitefish will start distributing its organic products across the region.

In late November, the Agricultural Development Council announced 10 recipients of $286,085 worth of grants and loans. Great Northern Pasta will receive a $49,900 grant to assist with equipment and construction costs in order to expand the company’s facilities. Flathead Valley Community College, Kalispell Kreamery, the Lake County Community Development Corporation and the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center are also receiving grants from the state fund.

Great Northern Pasta General Manager Jeff Russell said the grant would help the company expand its product line and distribute to markets outside of Montana. He also said it would help the company hire additional employees.

“The objective is to add shelf-stable dried pastas as well as frozen raviolis to our product line,” Russell said. “The company’s farm-to-table approach to product manufacturing and marketing of pasta products is unique in the regional market and has been met with enthusiastic reception from grocery and food services statewide.”

The $35,570 grant awarded to the Kalispell Kreamery will help the family-owned dairy and creamery purchase a rotary yogurt cup filler in order to expand its line of products.

The Lake County Community Development Corporation and the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center have received a $7,500 grant to complete a market study to determine the feasibility of establishing a dairy cooperative in the Mission Valley.

The fund is also helping Flathead Valley Community College get its agricultural program off the ground. The school received $18,200 to assist with consulting costs, development and implementation of the new program.

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