Fire Up Your Safety Knowledge at Choteau’s Fire Prevention Day 2023

metal fire hydrant on city street against blue sky


October 21, 2023


10:00 AM – 2:00 PM


Choteau Volunteer Fire Department Hall

Mark your calendars for a day of education, community, and family fun! On October 21, 2023, the Choteau Volunteer Fire Department is rolling out the red carpet—or perhaps we should say, unfurling the fire hose—for Fire Prevention Day. The event will take place at the Choteau Volunteer Fire Department Hall from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and it promises to be a day you won’t want to miss.

A Community Coming Together for Safety

The Choteau Volunteer Fire Department has always been at the forefront of community safety, and this event is no exception. Thanks to a generous donation from 3 Rivers, attendees will have the chance to win essential safety gear like fire extinguishers and smoke alarms as door prizes. It’s not just about winning cool stuff, though; it’s about equipping our community with the tools they need to stay safe.

Something for the Little Heroes

Kids are our future firefighters, doctors, and community leaders, so it’s only fitting that they get their share of the spotlight. The event will feature special take-home items just for the kiddos, ensuring that they too walk away with more than just a fun day out.

Warm Up with Opportunity Bank’s Chili Feed

What’s a community event without some good food? Opportunity Bank is sponsoring a mouth-watering chili feed that promises to add a dash of warmth and spice to the day. It’s the perfect way to refuel as you go from one exciting activity to the next.

Get Electrified with NorthWest Energy

Electrical safety is often overlooked, but it’s a crucial aspect of home safety. That’s why we’re thrilled to have NorthWest Energy join us to provide essential education on electrical safety. But that’s not all—they’re also offering bucket rides for the kids! It’s a thrilling way for the young ones to see the world from new heights, all while learning about the importance of electrical safety.

A Close-Up Look at Emergency Services

Choteau EMS will also be on hand, ambulance and all, to give everyone a close-up look at emergency medical services. It’s a fantastic educational opportunity and a reminder of the vital services that our emergency responders provide every day.

So, whether you’re a long-time resident or new to Choteau, come down to the Fire Department Hall on October 21st. Learn something new, win some prizes, and enjoy a day filled with community spirit and family fun. We can’t wait to see you there!

New Grant for Start-up Ag Producers

photo of hay rolls on grass field

Applications are being accepted for AgWest Farm Credit’s New Producer Grant Program. Successful applicants will receive a one-time $15,000 grant to support their operations’ growth. Application deadline is August 31.

Read the eligibility requirements and application guidelines on the AgWest Community Engagement webpage.

Business Focus: Getting Bank & Credit Union Ready

Where: Copper Creek Coffee
When: August 1, 10a – 11a

Put your business startup idea into action with Business Focus: Getting Bank & Credit Union Ready. Learn essential steps and strategies to secure loans and credit lines. Small Business Advisor Rich Gannon will guide you through financial documentation, effective communication with lenders, and presenting your business in the best light.

Understand the importance of accurate financial statements and develop skills to articulate your business goals and financial projections. By the end of the session, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to navigate the loan application process successfully. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable insights and enhance your chances of obtaining financing.

Reach out Tony Peres with questions at

The Great Falls Development Alliance is a nonprofit organization serving a 13-county region and hosts a Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and a Montana Food & Ag Development Center. GFDA works on business attraction, business retention/expansion, business start-ups, and a wide range of efforts to make our region more competitive in attracting private investment and retaining/attracting talent. Learn more at

PCQI Workshop in Great Falls for Food Manufacturers

person spreading flour

The Great Falls Development Alliance and MMEC are partnering to host an in-person, 3-day training course on the Preventive Controls for Human Food regulations in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

WHEN: Wednesday, August 16 – Friday, August 18

WHERE: 405 3rd Street NW, Great Falls, MT

Does your company need a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual(PCQI) on staff to fulfill the requirements of the Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)? This course, taught by MMEC instructor Claude Smith, is the standardized curriculum recognized by the FDA.

Alluvion Mobile Medical Unit – Coming Soon to Choteau!

medical stethoscope with red paper heart on white surface

Greetings, Choteau community members!

Get ready to mark your calendars, we have some exciting news that underscores our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents. The Alluvion Mobile Medical and Prevention Services unit is coming to our beautiful city!

On Wednesday, July 26th, Alluvion’s top-tier medical team will set up camp in the Rex’s Market parking lot from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. They will provide a host of services that help keep our community strong and healthy, including sports physicals and vaccinations.

Are you a parent gearing up for the upcoming sports season? Be sure to bring in your young athletes for their sports physicals. These assessments are essential in ensuring our children’s safety as they participate in the sports they love.

Have you or your loved ones missed out on crucial vaccinations recently? This is your chance to catch up! The Alluvion team will be offering a range of vaccinations, helping protect our community from various diseases.

The best part? No appointment is necessary! Walk-ins are welcome throughout the day. That’s right – there is no need for prior scheduling. Just drop by whenever it’s convenient for you during the provided hours.

Please remember to mark your calendars and take advantage of these vital services on July 26th. Don’t miss this opportunity to ensure the health of your family and our community. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you for your continued support.

Stay healthy, Choteau!

USDA Launches Powerful Tool to Empower Choteau Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

midsection of man working

As a member of the Choteau Chamber of Commerce, you are well aware of the challenges faced by small businesses in accessing procurement opportunities. However, exciting news has arrived! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recently unveiled a cutting-edge tool designed to assist local small businesses, including small disadvantaged entities, in identifying potential opportunities to sell their products and services to the USDA. This game-changing resource aims to enhance competition and create a level playing field for all eligible firms. Let’s delve into the details of this remarkable development.

Unveiling the USDA’s Procurement Forecast Tool: In a significant collaboration between the USDA’s Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) and the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), a powerful tool has been developed to simplify the process of identifying procurement opportunities. The tool, known as the USDA’s Procurement Forecast, provides a comprehensive list of anticipated solicitations and contracts that small businesses, including small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned businesses, HUBZone businesses, and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, can potentially participate in.

Enhancing Accessibility and Removing Barriers: Recognizing the invaluable contributions of small business entities and the need to create equal opportunities for all, the USDA remains committed to championing initiatives that promote accessibility and remove barriers faced by underserved individuals and communities. OCP Director Donald Baker expressed the USDA’s dedication to making contracting opportunities more accessible and emphasized the value of this procurement tool in enhancing competition among businesses interested in supplying goods and services to the Department.

Features and Functionality: The USDA’s Procurement Forecast offers an array of user-friendly features to facilitate easy navigation and information retrieval. The tool allows interested parties to:

  • Search for USDA’s procurement forecasts
  • Filter the results based on specific criteria
  • Manipulate the display by sorting, hiding, moving, and freezing columns
  • Download the results in Excel or CSV format for further analysis and convenience

Currently, forecast data for Fiscal Year 2023 to 2025 is available, providing ample time for businesses to plan and strategize their approach.

Compliance with Business Opportunity Development Reform Act: This collaborative effort between the OCP and OSDBU aligns with Public Law 100-656, also known as the Business Opportunity Development Reform Act of 1988. This law, which amended the Small Business Act, emphasizes the importance of acquisition planning and requires agencies to compile and make available contracting opportunities for small businesses. By complying with this law, the USDA is paving the way for increased engagement, transparency, and participation in its procurement process.

Maximizing Opportunities and Empowering Entrepreneurs: With the introduction of the USDA’s Procurement Forecast tool, small businesses in Choteau can now broaden their horizons beyond the federal-wide System for Award Management (SAM) when searching for procurement opportunities. This powerful tool not only maximizes opportunities for businesses but also provides greater transparency, accuracy, additional data fields, and more frequent updates to the data. It empowers entrepreneurs by placing vital information, tools, resources, and engagement opportunities at their fingertips.

Embracing the Future: The USDA is wholeheartedly committed to supporting small, disadvantaged businesses across the country. Through initiatives like road shows and the procurement tool, the USDA is proactively meeting businesses where they are, ensuring maximum opportunity for participation in the procurement process. By embracing technological advancements and emphasizing inclusivity, the USDA is leading the way towards a vibrant and thriving small business ecosystem.

Get Started Today: To explore the Forecast of Business Opportunities and search for anticipated procurements from the USDA, simply visit Discover a world of possibilities and unlock the potential for your small business in Choteau!

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) Training for Food Manufacturers 

man wearing a face mask putting food on a thermal bag

Do you want to create a HACCP Food Safety Plan for your organization, but don’t know where to start?

There are still spaces available in the MMEC
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Training for Food ManufacturersThis 2-day, live course will be held June 13-14, 2023 in Butte. 

Led by Certified Lead Instructor Claude Smith, it will prepare you and your staff to develop your first plan or update an existing one. On Day 1, you’ll learn key background information, including an overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements; how having a HACCP plan can strengthen your food safety program and benefit your business; and the critical components to include in your plan. Day 2 will focus on the development of a specific plan for your organization, with step-by-step guidance from the course instructor.

Don’t miss out – register now for remaining spots.

For more information or to register for the course, please visit the event website. 

Click here for the event summary or contact me at the below email or phone number:

Brian Sullivan, Business Advisor
Montana Manufacturing Extension Center
(406) 490-2744

Invitation to the Manufacturing Accounting Excellence Workshop

sparks while welding

Would you like to discover how LEAN principles can help your organization improve? Or, would you like to accelerate your LEAN journey by integrating your financial and administrative professionals into your continuous improvement initiatives?

The Montana Manufacturers Extension Center is excited to offer a unique, full-day of LEAN training workshops in Billings on June 15. The morning session will be our popular LEAN 101: LEAN Lego workshop.

Through engaging, hands-on exercises, you’ll identify ways to continuously improve processes and create more value for customers without negatively impacting company resources.The afternoon session will be our new LEAN Accounting workshop for finance and accounting professionals. As a follow-up to LEAN 101, Lean Accounting offers corresponding tools to better understand and manage costs, eliminate waste, and identify the full impact of Lean process improvements. Now is the time to take the first step, or to take your LEAN improvements to the next level!

When: Thursday, June 15, 2023
8:00 am – 12:00 pm (Session 1)
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (Session 2)

Where: Rock 31
Room: Builder Event Space
201 N Broadway
Billings, MT 59101

Learn more and register now:  Click here for the event summary

MEDA Spring Conference May 22-24, 2023

people sitting on gang chairs

MEDA Conference Starts Monday May 22

Register now for the MEDA Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) spring conference May 22-24 in Billings. This year’s theme is “What Connects Us Today and Tomorrow.” Discover exciting economic development opportunities, participate in the Rock31 Consumer Product Accelerator Pitch Competition, enjoy a networking social hosted by the Montana Ambassadors, and much more!