Rocky Mountain Supply is a locally owned co-operative created on November 1, 1999 by the consolidation of the assets of two smaller co-operatives: Co-Op Supply (based in Dillon, MT) and Gallatin Farmers Company (based in Belgrade, MT with stores in Ennis and Townsend, MT). Previous to the consolidation, both Co-Op Supply and Gallatin Farmers Company were providing services to people in the respective areas of operation since they were created over 60 years ago. Initially created to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, both companies grew into multi-million dollar operations and now, as Rocky Mountain Supply, has over 15,000 share holders in a 10-county service area. About half of the shareholders are farmers and ranchers while the other half are primarily citizens of the communities served by the stores.
Agronomy Division Manager
Petroleum Division Manager
Retail Division Manager
Chairman - Bozeman
Vice Chairman - Townsend
Secretary - Jackson
Mark Rehyer - Belgrade
Lindsey Seidensticker - Twin Bridges
Jerry Meine - Dillon
Daryl "Harry" Marx - Bozeman
What is a Co-operative?
A co-operative is defined as a user (patron) owned, democratically controlled (depending on how a co-op is organized, members may or may not have voting privileges) business in which benefits (often referred to as patronage and most often received in the form of lower prices, shares of stock, and/or cash refunds on purchases over a set time, etc.) are received in direct proportion to member participation (the more the member participates the better the return is that the member receives). Co-operatives are user-owned, tax paying business which are very capable of competing with privately-owned businesses providing similar services. The philosophy behind co-operatives is to supply something that is needed by someone--services, products, etc.
The first co-operative in America was founded in 1752 in Philadelphia. It was a company which insured buildings and property against loss by fire. The first consumer use co-operative was organized in Rochdale, England in 1844.
Although people may not realize it, there are many well-known business which are actually co-operatives. A major locally known co-operative (besides Rocky Mountain Supply) is Vigilante Electric Co-operative. Some major nationally known organizations which are actually co-operatives include the Associated Press news service, Sunkist and Ocean Spray.