Growth in the cooperative development sect of the Lake County Community Development Corporation has led to a new position for Brianna Ewert, who has been named cooperative development center director.
“We’re growing,” she said, noting that LCCDC saw an opportunity to expand cooperative development. “We’re really focused on meeting the needs of the community.”
Cooperatives are private businesses owned by people in that community that use those services.
Usually, cooperatives offer more than just being profitable to be in business, Ewert said, meeting needs of people that other businesses are unable.
The three original centers focus on other disciplines, including community projects, business development and agriculture development.
The cooperative development center has been funded primarily through the Federal Drug Administration’s rural development portion since 1999.
Ewert has been with LCCDC since 2016, while slowly transitioning into her new director role, which was official in October.
IN HER previous position, Ewert worked on farm institution programs, sourcing local foods to schools and hospitals in conjunction with Western Montana Agriculture Cooperative.
Ewert herself is a member of several cooperatives.
Born in the Chicago area, Ewert grew up in Florida, where she was a 4-H student.
For college, she attended Harvard, earning an undergraduate degree in Psychology.
She came to Montana about a decade ago to attend graduate school at the University of Montana in Missoula, where she obtained a Master’s degree in environmental studies with a focus on sustainable food and agriculture.
While attending classes in Missoula, Ewert met her other half, Zach. They decided to move to Lake County to try their hand at farming.
It was when the couple decided to move that Ewert said “an amazing serendipity” occured.
A job opening with the cooperative was available, and she landed the position.
Ewert and Zach are parents to three-year-old son Carmody. The family lives on an organic vegetable farm.
Ewert wants the public to know that she, along with LCCDC, is available as a resource.
“Folks that are thinking of what could be a cooperative” when looking to start a business are encouraged to contact her.
Ewert can be contacted at 406-676-5912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.