Bridging the Rural–Urban Divide

One Montana's mission is to create a vibrant Montana by connecting rural and urban communities

One Montana is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Bozeman, Montana, dedicated to moving Montana forward and ensuring a positive future for both rural and urban communities – helping them work together toward success.

We embrace collaboration as the most promising way to address the difficult issues of our time. Our goal is to change the way we think and act about rural and urban communities from divide to connect.

Why is this important? As our country has become more and more divided it has become increasingly difficult to address serious problems and find creative solutions. And the division between rural and urban has become one of the widest we face. Rural and urban populations feel disconnected from one another – unacknowledged, irrelevant. The “rural-urban divide” is a real barrier to a healthy future for our state and our country. Action is needed to help us understand our vital connection. We must have tools to enable us to recognize each other’s unique challenges and to work together to solve them. This is One Montana

We convene people who may have different viewpoints but need to work together to address common challenges. One Montana was started by former Republican Senator Jim Peterson of Buffalo and Bill Bryan, who is known as a Democrat and founder of Off the Beaten Path in Bozeman. One Montana is now a unique collection of very diverse Montanans whose purpose is to take on multiple projects and difficult issues to help bring rural and urban interests together.

OUR CURRENT PROJECTS:

Common Ground – An initiative to build trust and better working relationships between landowners and sportsmen in Montana, including our Montana Hunter Advancement Program

Montana Teenpreneur Roundup -  An annual online competition for high school students to demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy by submitting ideas for innovative products and services that address contemporary challenges OR actual businesses they already run to raise money for personal use or school clubs.

Resilient Montana: A Water, Agriculture and Climate Program – An inclusive and robust dialogue about climate impacts and measurable adaptation strategies.

Mental Health – An initiative with MSU’s Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery to develop a viable base for rural mental health prevention programs addressing the issues of depression and suicide in Montana.

OUR FORMER PROJECTS: 

Ranch Management Undergraduate Degree Program – A ranch management undergraduate major for a rural land grant university in the West that is now being undertaken by MSU’s College of Agriculture.

Rural-Urban Student and Entrepreneur Exchange – A hands-on program for high school students that develops entrepreneurial skills and forges long-lasting connections for economic development.

Montana Way – A communications initiative that helps maintain community stability and reduce potential conflicts among current and new landowners.

Meat Processing Facility Feasibility Study – A study to assess the feasibility of constructing a new multispecies meat processing facility in Montana.