Working to unite, promote and strengthen
cooperative businesses across Montana
On August 19th, members of the Montana USDA- Rural Development Team and staff from MCDC and MCOC gathered in Eureka, Montana with the General Managers of Lincoln Electric Cooperative and InterBel Telephone Cooperative. The discussion was around the success of the REDL&G (Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant) program and subsequent revolving loan funds serving North Lincoln County since 2006. Lea McGiboney with the USDA-RD Great Falls office joined remotely and gave an excellent overview of the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Programs. This is a great program that utility cooperatives have access too and our team at MCDC/MCOC are here to help and we invite all of those that were unable to attend it live, to watch the recording here on the MCDC website

Learn more about the REDL&G program here and download the new Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA).
And Mark your Calendars as MCDC is working with the Montana State USDA Team to do a deeper dive training webinar on the REDL&G Program tentatively planned for October 26th, 2021.
We will be sending out information on that soon.

The Montana Council of Cooperatives was proud to host the annual Co-op Night at the Great Falls Voyagers on August 27th! It was a fun-filled night of giveaways, laughter, and cooperatives.

A tear or two may have happened when our long-time Board member and dear friend Fritz Keller's family took to the center-field as we honored his cooperative legacy. Fritz Keller, who dedicated his life to cooperatives and served on both MCDC and MCOC Board was killed earlier this year in a farming accident. His laughter, kindness, and passion for cooperatives in Montana are missed. It was our distinct honor to be able to take a moment to remember his legacy.

Our Thanks to our Partners on this event

A special thank you to the crew at the Great Falls Voyagers! What a wonderful evening celebrating Montana Co-ops!

A successful Co-Op Night at the Great Falls Voyagers was had by all!

Our team at Montana Cooperative Development Center and Montana Council of Cooperatives continue to follow the state efforts to release the CORONAVIRUS STATE & LOCAL FISCAL RECOVERY FUNDS. There is still a lot of unknowns right now. However, the commissions are meeting and there is activity happening around childcare, revolving loan funds, business transformation, workforce, housing, broadband, and more.

Tracy has been and will continue to attend the Economic Transformation and Stabilization and Workforce Development Programs and Advisory Commission, and listening in to other Commission meetings throughout the process. The next meeting for the Economic Transformation Commission is October 27th, 2021, and will focus on designing the value-added and business stabilization programs.

We urge all cooperatives in Montana looking at broadband, infrastructure improvements, partnering on local development projects, economic development, etc. to keep a close eye on the Montana ARPA website ( This website is being updated with the Commission meetings, grant and loan applications, and information as presented. If you need assistance please email Tracy at She may not have the answers you need but will do her best to find the right person who does!
Montana Cooperative Development Center and Zero to Five Montana Launching
Childcare Cooperative Hub Initiative
MCDC is excited to announce a partnership with Zero to Five Montana to collaborate on childcare solutions in Montana. Over the last year, MCDC has been an active partner of the Early Childhood Collobratory developing a series of recommendations that have been incorporated into the Governor's Health Advisory Commission. MCDC and Zero to Five have received funds to coordinate a series of pilot programs across Montana.

The goal of this project is to pilot a community-building childcare infrastructure strategy, specifically in rural communities, where partners collaborate to learn about childcare models and the necessary supports needed to implement the different models. Through the process of this pilot, a toolkit will be developed to support other communities (rural and urban) who are interested in this childcare business model through a consultation process. Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) and Zero to Five Montana will coordinate with business organizations, economic development, foundations, local and state government, and childcare support systems to link and navigate resources (both funding and information). The result will be a structure for designing childcare systems, as well as small business resources to support the childcare provider(s) who will be operating the facility. Through the consultation process, communities will learn about various childcare business models to determine the best fit. Through this pilot, MCDC and Zero to Five will develop metrics to evaluate the consultation process.

If your Montana community is interested in learning more about our Childcare cooperative efforts please email our Program Director Davey Madison.
UpComing Events

Montana Cooperative Development Center and Montana Council of Cooperatives Invites you to visit our new Office for the Great Falls Chamber Business After Hours and Celebration of Cooperatives

October 21st, 2021
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Stay Tuned for More Information!
Pint Night at the Mighty Mo Brewery

November 29th, 2021
5 pm to 8 pm

$1.00 from every pint sold will support Montana Cooperative Development Center's

MCDC staff will be there to discuss the work being done and there will be Door Prizes Too.

Can't make an event but want to still Support the Montana Cooperative Development Center and the growth of the Montana Cooperative Community?

Gearing Up for National Co-op Month
October 2021

Montana Cooperative Development Center and Montana Council of Cooperatives encourage all cooperatives in Montana to plan events for Co-op Month! A great source for logos, social media content, and more can be found at

Don't forget to share the word about Montana's cooperatives. The Economic Impact of Montana's Cooperatives is available for download (click picture below).

Please send photos, event information, etc. to our office to showcase in our newsletter, through social media, and more. You can send them directly to Tracy.
MCDC Looking for Contractors
Requests for Proposals Released (share!)

Due October 22nd, 2021
Growth Through Agriculture through the Montana Department of Commerce is Open

Pre -Applications Due Oct. 4th

The Montana Department of Agriculture announced the opening of the 2021 funding cycle for the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program. Montanans interested in innovating or expanding agricultural businesses are invited to apply for funds through the state grant and loan program.

Visit the Department of Agriculture website for more information

Contact our office if you require assistance and we will connect you to your local economic development organization.
If you would like us to post your upcoming co-op events or information in the Montana Cooperative Update send event information to: