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Broadwater County Leadership Program Graduates Second Class


Allison Kosto, MSU Broadwater County Extension Agent
MSU Broadwater County Extension Agent

Broadwater County Leadership Program Graduates Second Class Allison Kosto MSU Broadwater County Extension Agent On May 5, 2023, Big Sky, Big Leadership in Broadwater County celebrated the completion of another program year and the success of fourteen new graduates.

Graduates included Katherine Anderson, Keith Baker, Jessica Crusch, Amy Currence, Charles Eastty, Samantha Ferrat, Theresa Flynn, Todd Kitto, Brody Maughan, Anne Pichette, Virginia Poole, Melinda Reidy, Buddy Rivera and Tacy Swanton.

Program participants engaged in nine-monthly sessions across the county from September to May to develop and enhance their leadership skills, increase their understanding of local community dynamics and improve community awareness of local issues.

Each session included leadership skill development and community experiences. Leadership topics focused on personal development as well as working with others. Topics included communication, conflict management, personality styles, generational differences, leadership styles and effective meetings.

The purpose of the community experiences was to increase awareness and understanding of local community resources and issues. Each session provided either a tour or a guest speaker or panel to present critical information on the topic. Some of the highlights from this year were a tour of the Toston Dam, discussions about county growth, a Bridger Brewery tour, a Graymont Western tour, a presentation on the Silos Area Master Plan, and a tour of GT Vintage Trailer Service.

On the final evaluation, participants shared examples of how the program has impacted them: • 100% of survey respondents felt their participation helped them become a leader at home, work or in the community. • 87.5% supported or mentored someone to become a better leader as a result of the class. • 75% felt the class helped to improve the effectiveness of meetings and actions of boards or groups they are a member of.

Additionally, participants shared how the class benefited them most: • “Gaining solid leadership skills, which I’ve put to use in a variety of areas!” • “Learning to respect others’ leadership styles and the way they see the world.” • “More knowledge of our community, purpose and understanding of how I can better serve and make a difference.” • “This class has helped me be a bit more confident. I have more understanding on how to talk to people who are not like me.” • “Learning a lot about our county and the industry that exists.”

In the fall of 2021, MSU Extension in Broadwater County launched Big Sky, Big Leadership, a statewide community leadership initiative developed by MSU Extension and offered at the county level. Rural communities face significant challenges that range from struggling economic conditions to changing demographics to qualify of life. These are complex issues that cannot be easily solved and require innovative leaders to look and think in new ways. Communities with strong citizen involvement have access to more resources and can capitalize on more opportunities.

This program works to address the need for leaders in the community and help adults learn leadership skills and improve awareness of local issues. To date, 24 people have successfully completed the program in Broadwater County.

Contact MSU Extension in Broadwater County at 406-266-9242 or for more information about the program. Applications for 2023-2024 will be available in July. Become part of the solution and make a difference in your community!