Blackfoot and Missoula Electric Cooperative Donate $20,000 to Helmville Rodeo with Help from CoBank

Cooperation among Cooperatives helps keep a local tradition alive.

The annual Helmville Rodeo is a popular Labor Day event for both Blackfoot and Missoula Electric Cooperative (MEC) customers, employees and their respective Board of Trustees. Each year, the iconic “biggest little rodeo in Montana” draws crowds from across Montana and neighboring states. So when it came time to help replace the aging wooden grandstands, both companies’ CEOs stepped up to pledge their financial contributions.

Jason Williams from Blackfoot and Mark Hayden from MEC issued a joint statement: “We are pleased to help the community of Helmville. We value the hometown spirit of our local service areas and this is a wonderful way to contribute to the tradition and character of Helmville.”

CoBank, a Denver-based cooperative bank that works with both Blackfoot and MEC, also contributed $10,000 to the project. Blackfoot and MEC each requested and were awarded $5,000 from CoBank as part of their Sharing Success Program

Last year, community members came together and developed a plan to rebuild the 90-year-old grandstand facility in time for the 2017 Labor Day event. Today, that plan is very close to reality thanks to the hard work of nearly every citizen of Helmville contributing in one way or another! Concrete work has commenced and donated locally sourced and milled lumber is already on site.

Indeed, it’s a labor of love according to Camille Coughlin, who is leading the fund raising efforts. “We are so appreciative of the financial help we have received from Blackfoot, Missoula Electric Cooperative and many other local businesses. It’s wonderful to know that people care about us and recognize the value of our classic American Rodeo.”

A Rodeo Grandstand Auction and Dinner is scheduled for June 30 at the Helmville Community Center. To learn more or donate contact