Building Together What Would Be Impossible To Build Alone
Introducing the Montana Cooperative 101 Online Curriculum
MCDC and MCOC are reaching out to our Cooperative Community in Montana at this very challenging time. Tracy McIntyre, our Executive Director, is engaged in talks with fellow economic developers, State and Federal Agencies, and Political Officials, exploring how resources can be developed, modified and utilized to assist our businesses/cooperatives and communities, through this health and economic struggle. The critical role that you play in our communities demand our immediate attention and problem-solving.
We are seeking feedback from you so that we can pass on your concerns/needs and so we can better serve the Montana Cooperative Community through this challenging time and through the recovery phase of our State and Nation. Please take a moment and complete this short (2 question) survey.
We recognize that we are just beginning to experience some of the challenges that will emerge as this pandemic and economic downturn advances. Please try to forecast issues that you are concerned with now and those that may be just around the corner. Any other statements you wish to share with us will help shape how MCDC/MCOC continues to provide services to our members and communities across Montana.
MCDC is Going Remote until May 31st. BUT we remain here to help provide any services needed to grow and sustain the Cooperative Community in Montana.
Though our office staff is pretty small we will mostly be working remotely through the end of the month. We are suspending any non-essential travel at this time and will be available for zoom and/or conference calls.
Our main phone line will be forwarded to Juanetta (406) 727-1517 and you can reach Juanetta by office cell (406) 868-5732 or you can email her at [email protected]
To reach our Director Tracy McIntyre, please call her office cell (406) 868-0751 or email [email protected]
To reach our IT/Data Manager and for any services for your IT or Website please call Donnie Harvell at (406) 868-6058 or email [email protected]
For Cooperative Development Questions/Assistance you can email our Contracted State-wide Cooperative Specialists Eric Bergman ([email protected]) or Marilyn Besich ([email protected]). Please note that Marilyn only works on Wednesdays and will return emails at that time.
To promote and develop cooperatives to meet the economic and community needs of rural Montana.
What is a Cooperative?
A cooperative is an organization that is owned and democratically controlled by the people who use its products, supplies or services. Cooperatives are formed to meet the specific objectives of members, and are structured to adapt to member’s changing needs. Working together as a group, members find they can accomplish more collectively than they could individually.
The benefits of belonging to cooperatives include:
- Access to quality supplies and services at reasonable costs
- Increased visibility and leverage in the marketplace
- Share in earnings based on use of co-op
- Effective political action
- Enhance local economy through services and job creation
Principles of a Cooperative
Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1995. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.
1) Voluntary and Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2) Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions.
3) Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.
4) Autonomy and Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members.
5) Education, Training, and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
6) Cooperation among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional, and international structures.
7) Concern for Community
Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.