MONTANA COOPERATIVE SUMMIT 2018
MARCH 7 – 8, 2018
FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS, MONTANA
SUMMIT FOCUSES ON CO-OPS TRANSFORMING RURAL COMMUNITIES
By Guy Gregory
MCDC Communications Specialist
The Montana Cooperative Development Center hosted the 3rd Annual Montana Cooperative Summit March 7-8 that showcased how co-ops are transforming rural communities.
The event kicked-off on Wednesday morning with three Back to Basics Pre-Summit Workshops: “Exploring the Co-op Model,” “Finance & Governance for Start-up Co-ops,” and “Special Topics for Established Cooperatives.” Cortney Angeley of the Filene Research Institute delivered the Summit’s keynote address, followed by “Co-ops on Parade”, which highlighted lessons learned from Montana’s youngest 15 cooperative businesses. Summit participants discussed the challenges and successes of operating their own cooperative businesses during the “Co-op Café” social hour.
The dinner speaker was Montana’s newly appointed State Director for USDA Rural Development, Charles Robison, who noted the significant impact cooperatives have on the economy of rural Montana. The Summit concluded Thursday with sessions on developing sustainable food systems, creating rural investment co-ops, building affordable housing cooperatives, and organizing democratic controlled worker-owned co-ops. Special guest Margaret Lund delivered closing remarks on the important role co-ops play in serving the most remote places on the continent.
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