May 30, 2017
By Guy Gregory
MCDC Communications Specialist
The Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) has been awarded a $25,000 Cooperative Education Grant from the CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., to help fund the Montana Cooperative Impact Project, a program to be administered by MCDC and supported by the Montana Council of Cooperatives.
The Montana Cooperative Impact Project will launch as a nine-month education program that will build awareness of the cooperative business model among the next generation of co-op leaders across rural Montana. MCDC will rely on partnerships with Montana State University Extension, economic development offices, and cooperatives throughout the state. Co-op Impact Teams will schedule a series of week-long, intensive visits to at least five Montana counties/regions
The project’s primary objective is to reveal to students and young adult leaders how cooperatives have contributed to the economic stability of their rural communities over the past 100 years — and how the next generation can apply the same model to address 21st century challenges. The Montana Cooperative Impact Project also seeks to inform and inspire community leaders of their local cooperatives’ ongoing activities and special opportunities. Finally, the project will engage those who want to develop new cooperatives or explore career paths with established co-ops in their region.