The upcoming annual meeting begins on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm with the premiere of “Montana Co-ops 101”, a video production that features co-op leaders from across the state. This 10-minute introductory video is envisioned as the first in a series about forming, governing and operating cooperative businesses. Produced by the Montana Cooperative Development Center (MCDC) in cooperation with MCOC, “Montana Co-ops 101” will be available without charge to cooperatives active in the Council.

Also featured on Monday will be profiles of eight new cooperatives that have incorporated in Montana over the past two years. Entitled, “Trends and Successes in New Cooperative Development”, the session includes four speakers from:

  •  Loyal to Local Multi-Farm Cooperative in Hamilton
  • “This House of Books” bookstore cooperative in Billings
  • “Fresh Start” grocery cooperative in Geraldine
  •  Neihart Store Cooperative

The second day of the annual meeting will begin by highlighting the recently completed study of the economic impact of Montana’s cooperatives. Also covered on Tuesday morning will be the operational trends and legislative agendas within each of the different co-op sectors.

Attendees will hear from the Governor’s Budget Director and Legislative Fiscal Analyst during the late morning sessions and learn more about the 2019 economic development programs. During the lunch hour the Speaker of the House, Senate President, and both minority leaders have been invited to speak on budget matters and legislative priorities of interest to cooperatives.

Following lunch, a special session entitled, “Housing Cooperatives: A Solution for the Missing Middle” will feature state and nonprofit leaders who are working with MCDC in this major new initiative.

Speakers will introduce pilot projects in Circle and Hamilton, Montana, including Riverside Crossing: An Active Adult Cottage Cooperative being developed by the Ravalli County Council on Aging that is now open for stock subscribers.

The major event of the evening, the traditional Legislative Dinner and Dance, kicks off with a social hour at 5:00 pm with the buffet dinner and DJ-supported dance to follow at 6:30 pm.

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