Growth on the Big Flat

Established back in 2011, the Big Flat Community Grain Bin, Inc. is to "Build upon the foundations established by previous generations by enhancing and supporting the charitable efforts of local organizations and the public school."

The organization is rooted in discussions that began in 2008 as a means to establishing a cooperative to bring a grocery store back to the Big Flat. While discussing what it would take to get the grocery store up and running, other items of need/want were brought up and the idea of developing the best way to develop the area surrounding Turner and Hogeland, known as the Big Flat, was born.

Eventually the Big Flat Grocery Store was fully stocked, and its doors were opened for business and preparations immediately followed to form a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation with the "intent and purpose of supporting the school and the community, as was expressed in community surveys held at that time." Fundraising soon got underway to raise money for the filing fees for an IRS application, and in-depth strategic planning got underway. Paperwork was filed in November of 2011 and just prior to the Big Flat Centennial celebration 2012 the organization was notified by the Internal Revenue Service that its 501(c)(3) non-profit status had been approved. In the years since the group has maintained its mission toward the sustainability of the school located on the Big Flat.

Currently the Big Flat Community Grain Bin, Inc (BFCGB). has a very active Board of Trustees that include Johannes Brown as Chairman, Andrew Jones is the Vice Chair, Shelly Harmon serves as a Trustee and Tricia Kimmel is the Treasurer. The Board was looking for ways to expedite its new and expanded mission that includes restarting the Adult Education program, the Trip of the Month Raffle and planning a Community Center. The Board decided the best way to do that would be to hire a paid part time Executive Director, and in a press release it proudly announced, "Alyssa Garrett was appointed at a recent meeting to serve as Executive Director for the agency serving the geographic area known as the Big Flat in northcentral Montana. Garrett, who lives in Turner with her husband and two children, is excited to begin in her role. Garrett comes highly recommended, and the board of directors for the BFCGB is confident in her ability to lead the organization into a new growth phase, which will include among other things, fundraising and grant-seeking for a new community center."

Since its start back in 2012, the BFCGB, has developed the adult education program and annually awards several academic scholarships each academic year to the Turner High School graduating class as well as its Alumni. In addition, the BFCGB has provided community grants to the Turner schools and various other local agencies. The Trip of the Month Vacation raffle was extremely popular, but Covid disrupted many of these once thriving endeavors. The BFCGB Board feels extremely confident in Alyssa will get the job done and "We feel strongly that having a dedicated paid director, though part-time, will propel these plans faster and in a bigger way than relying solely on volunteer efforts, as well as provide consistent administrative oversight, such as maintaining its non-profit status with government agencies. Hiring Garrett to fill the role of executive director will launch the BFCGB toward a sustainable future for decades to come."

As Executive Director, Garrett will focus her efforts on managing ongoing activities, maintaining and building open lines of communication with constituents and actively pursuing other 'fundraising and grant opportunities to benefit the community and school'. "I'm really excited to be a part of such a special community filled with great people," said Garrett. If anyone has question or maybe an idea please reach out to Alyssa and talk with her at (760)550-7902 or email her at