GREAT FALLS – The Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) celebrated National Co-op Month on Thursday.
The celebration featured speaker Charles Robison, who is USDA’s rural development state director.
Charles presented MCDC with a 200,000 Rural Cooperative Development Grant for 2018-19.
Another speaker at the celebration was Kim Mangold, Deputy Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture, who described the agency’s ongoing partnership with MCDC through its annual state appropriation.
Other speakers included Wendy Beye, Chair of the Musselshell Rural Investment Cooperative Steering Committee, who discussed how their new co-op plans to invest in the restoration of the historic Central School building in Roundup.
Lastly, Choteau Area Port Authority Chair Mary Sexton talked about the launch of a new co-op feasibility study for the Teton Pass Ski Area. This is being funded under a $66,000 Rural Business Development Grant through MCDC.
Janice Brown, MCDC Executive Director believes there is only one other cooperatively owned ski area in the country, located in Vermont. She said they will look at their structure.
Janice added, “So were hoping that by investing some money in a good study, that will attract an owner or make it a cooperatively-owned ski area for central Montana.”
Reporting by Kasey Herman for MTN News