On the windswept prairie northeast of Fairfield sits St. Paul Lutheran Church. Established in 1910, the small church has a long history of helping those in the community it serves.
That tradition continues, with the Church’s Foundation Committee recently electing to donate $14,800 to the Farm in the Dell Rocky Mountain Front (FDRMF).
The money will be used to run utilities – gas and electric – to the property acquired by the organization just south of Fairfield.
Steve Lettengarver and Cory Copenhaver accepted the check on behalf of the FDRMF. Steve and Corey told the Foundation Committee that since the land purchase, things have been progressing rapidly.
The FDRMF will be an agricultural residence for adults with developmental disabilities.
FDRMF plans to start the first phase of construction – a shop – in the spring of 2019. Steve told the Sun Times that they decided to make a shop the first phase of the project because it will allow residents to begin to develop projects that will support the farm.
Steve said that when the house is constructed first, there is no support established for the farm, and they often struggle with money until the infrastructure is in place to establish the farm part of the project.
There has been interest expressed in having the residents grow flowers and vegetables in greenhouses, items that could be sold to grocery stores or florists.
Steve and Cory told the St. Paul Foundation Committee that the FDRMF is working with their grant-writer to secure additional funds, but they explained that the community – even as far away as Conrad – is coming together in support of the Farm. Recently, the FDRMF received word that the electrical items needed for the construction would be donated, and that electricians, and even retired electricians, would take care of the electrical work.
This is the third donation by St. Paul Lutheran Church to the Farm in the Dell Rocky Mountain Front. In 2016, they donated $4,000. In 2017, the donation was raised to $10,000. Now, with the check for $14,800 the church has shown their commitment with a total donated so far of over $28,000.
The Foundation Committee oversees disbursements of money from the Boe Brothers Foundation.
According to Brian Beerman, the committee chairman, the Boe Brothers attended St. Paul and the primary intent of the brother’s fund was to insure the church continue its mission.
Each year, the committee distributes about $50,000. The funds are administered by D.A. Davidson Companies.
In addition to the Farm in the Dell, the St. Paul Foundation has donated $2,000 to the Teton County Food Bank; $1,500 to the Great Falls Rescue Mission; $2,000 to Neighbors Helping Neighbors; $3,000 to Echoz Pregnancy Center and $500 to Choteau Activities. The Foundation also supports other ministries: Freedom in Christ Prison Ministry, Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp, Spirit of Life Lutheran in Wolf Point and MSU Campus Ministry.
St. Paul also supports its sister church in Fairfield, Grace Lutheran.
The Committee also awards scholarships each year.
If you would like more information about Farm in the Dell – Rocky Mountain Front, please visit their website, www.farminthedellrmf.com or call them at 406-590-2744.