The story of Montana cooperatives began on the dusty dangerous trails when families who were heading west joined together in wagon trains to help one another. By working together, they ensured the safety and security of all. Since the wagon trains, Montanans have learned that much can be accomplished by working together. The barn-building, quilting bees, and crop harvesting of the early days ensured that Montana was settled rapidly through cooperative action. Our first schools came from cooperating, and rural areas received electricity and telephones as the result of cooperatives. Today the cooperative spirit has spread far beyond these rural or agricultural levels. Montana can be proud of its heritage of cooperative growth. Our future will remain bright as long as its people continue to hold sacred this spirit of cooperation.