Family Economics and Financial Management Classes

hand adding coin to clear piggy bank sitting on a white table cloth.

Solid Finances is series of free financial education webinars. The webinars are designed to empower you to take control of your finances by improving your knowledge of personal finance topics. 


Family & Human Development

On a long gravel path boardered by green lush leaves is a grandfather dressed in tan slacks, white shirt, and tan fedora walking hand-in-hand with a toddler aged girl in pigtails and a multicolored sundress.

Upcoming Discussion & Education Group


Date: Third Saturday of each month

Cost: FREE! Participate online or phone by using Zoom

Registration for the MTKNP support and eduction group is required.

Today in Montana, there are over 6,600 kinship caregivers providing care to children without parental support. This group was formed to provide support and education for the kinship caregivers right here in Cascade County. The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Project was established in 2002 and has taken many forms across the state, most recently changing its name to the Montana Kinship Navigator Program (MTKNP). For more information at the state level visit the Montana Kinship Navigator Program website or email [email protected].

For more information about the MTKNP please contact the MSU Extension Cascade County office at 406-454-6980 or email [email protected]

A smiling older female in a light blue button-down shirt over a white shirt sitting with a smiling younger female wearing a medium blue shortsleeved shirt bent hugging the older female around the neck from behind.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class

6 week class series

Date: Mondays Nov 6 - Dec 11

Time: 1pm - 3pm

Location: Guy Tobacco room at Sletten Cancer Institute, 1117 29th St South in Great Falls

Cost: FREE

This six-week series provides information and education for relatives and individuals caring for a loved one with chronic health conditions. Join us for 2 hours each Tuesday for six weeks and gain tools, knowledge and support to help you take better care of yourself to allow you to continue to be an effective caregiver.


This weekly series of classes is taught by certified class leaders Katrin Finch, MSU Extension Cascade County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent and Jona McNamee, Certified Powerful Tools for Caregivers Trainer and Instructor.



Email: [email protected]


For questions or additional details contactKatrin Finch at [email protected] or call 406-454-6980

Food & Nutrition Classes

canned food in glass jars with cloth lids sitting on a wooden shelf

You CAN! Fall Classes



Join us to learn hands-on basics of water bath canning, pressure canning, and more! Using the most up-to-date USDA standards, you will learn the key components of canning and go home with safely preserved goods and new skills for food preservation. Classes may be taken individually or as a series. See below for class dates and descriptions. 
Please review class dates and details and select the classes you would like to attend. Class will run from 6pm to approximately 9pm.
 *Basics of Canning - class is HIGHLY encouraged if taking additional classes. Basics class will cover science, safety, and basic procedures in various methods of food preservation regardless of experience.


8/22 - Basics of Canning* - FREE!

8/29 - Vegetables and Freezing (pressure canning) $15

9/5 - Pickles and Salsa (water bath canning) $15

9/12 - Jams and Jellies (water bath canning) $15

9/19 - Meats and Dehydration (pressure canning) $15

10/3 - Fermentation $15

Topics: Pressure canning, waterbath canning, and fermentation!

Time: 6PM to 9PM

Cost: $15 per class, or $60 for all six

Location: In-person classes at the MSU Extension Cascade County office. 3300 3rd Street NE #9, Great Falls, MT

DUE TO INTEREST, WE HAVE OPENED A SECOND SET OF CLASS DATES. The above class dates are full and it would be great if you would join us for the new class dates:

Tues, 8/22 - Basics of Canning* - FREE!

Thurs, 8/31 – Vegetables and Freezing (pressure canning) $15

Thurs, 9/7 – Pickles and Salsa (water bath canning) $15

Mon, 9/11 - Jams and Jellies (water bath canning) $15

Thurs, 9/21 – Meats and Dehydration (pressure canning) $15

Thurs, 10/5 – Fermentation $15

We require a minimum of 6 participants to hold class. Please register if you are interested in learning more about food preservation!


If you would like to take a class that's already full, please call (406)454-6980 or email [email protected] or [email protected] with your name, email, phone number, and which class you would like to be put on a waiting list for and we will contact you when the next class is scheduled.

Unable to attend class but still interested in food preservation? Check out the Food Preservation 101 series where MSU Extension food preservers share the science and preservation best practices on the following topics:

  • Fermentation 101
  • Water bath canning 101
  • Atmospheric steam canning 101
  • Pressure canning 101
  • Freezing and drying 101
  • Sausage making 101


Additional Resources: Food preservation MontGuides can be found on the Montana State University Publications website

Meals in Minutes label over colorful bowl of food

Meals in Minutes

Electric Pressure Cooking Class

Date: Classes Coming Spring 2023

Time: 6pm-8pm

Cost: $15

Location: MSU Extension Cascade County, 3300 3rd St NE #9, Great Falls, MT 59404


Join us for this interactive and hands-on workshop learning how to prepare family meals in minutes using electric pressure cookers.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Pressure cooker shopping tips
  • No fear pressure cooking
  • Food preparation pointers
  • Food demonstrations
  • Recipe booklets
  • Food safety
ServSafe National Restaurant Association with two blue arcs over safe.

8-Hour Manager Certification Class



Jan 23 (Mon)

Feb 15 (Wed)

March 8 (Wed) CANCELLED

April 11 (Tue)

May 1 (Mon)

June 5 (Mon)

July 11 (Tue)

Aug 15 (Tue)

Oct 30 (Mon) FULL

Dec 5 (Tue)



8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.





ServSafe Food Manager Class (8 hours class)

The food manager course is an in-depth look at food safety and cover the following topics: safe food, forms of contamination, the flow of food, food safety management systems, safe facilities, and cleaning and sanitizing.

Additional Resources:

  • For questions regarding regulation and requirements please contact the local sanitarians. In Cascade County please contact the environmental Health Office at 406-454-6950.
  • For more details on the ServSafe Food Manager class visit the ServSafe website

ServSafe Food Handler Class (4 hour class)

Food handler course is a brief overview of the following topics: personal hygiene, controlling time and temperature, preventing cross contamination, and cleaning and sanitizing.


Tue, Nov 14@ 1pm - 4:30pm

Wed, Dec 6@ 9am - 12:30pm

Location: MSU Extension, 3300 3rd St NE #9

Cost: Free

Please note, this coursedoes not fulfill the CFPM requirement.



For more information contact Katrin Finch at 406-454-6980 or [email protected]

Food Pantry Food Handler (2 hour class)

Food pantry food handler course is specific to food pantries. This course covers receiving and distributing donations, food storage, controlling time and temperature, personal hygiene, and cleaning and sanitizing. This class does is not affiliated with ServSafe, it is intended to offer basic food safety training specifically for food pantries and like establishments.

ServSafe Food Manger Exam Proctoring

Please contact Katrin Finch at 406-454-6980 or [email protected]  for details on the next proctoring session.

Health & Wellness

dining with diabetes logo

Date: April 6, 13, 20, and 27

Time: 2:30pm-4:30pm

Cost: $15

Location: MSU Extension Cascade County, 3300 3rd St NE #9, Great Falls, MT 59404

Dining with Diabetes is a cooking school and nutrition education program designed for people with diabetes and their family members or caregivers.

In a series of four classes, cooking demonstrations will help you learn healthy techniques to use in your own kitchen. The program includes sampling healthy foods and discussion with a dietitian or certified diabetes educator, plus a follow-up reunion class held at a later date.

Who Can Attend?

Anyone with concerns about diabetes or anyone interested in controlling blood sugar is encouraged to participate and to bring a family member, friend, caregiver, or other support person.

Class Details:

Class will be a hybrid class of online OR in-person classes held at the Cascade County MSU Extension office 3300 3rd St. NE #9, Great Falls, please indicate your choice when registering.

We will do meal preparations, the lesson, and conclude with a shared meal (virtually). Meeting links and information will be sent via email the day of each class. You can access webex through your mobile device, tablet, or computer.

Recommended Kitchen/Cooking Utensils

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Cookie sheet
  • 9x13 pan
  • Tin foil
  • Sharp knife
  • Vegetable peeler (we will be peeling 1-2 apples)
  • Colander
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wisk

If you need accommodations to participate or have questions, please contact Katrin Finch, MSU Extension Agent, MSU Cascade County Extension Office at 454-6980 or [email protected].


MSU MontGuides


Montana State University MontGuide

MSU MontGuides

What is a MontGuide

Current information in a concise format on topics relevant to you published by MSU Extension. Feel free to visit our website at MSU Extension Publication Store for an expanded list of MontGuide topics.


Family and Consumer Sciences specific MontGuides

Business & Community Development

Family Financial Management

Family & Human Development

Nutrition and Health

Housing and Environmental Health

MontGuides Authored or Co-Authored by Katrin Finch

Seeking Private Guardianship for a Minor in Montana-MT201906HR

Kinship Caregivers Raising Relative Children Navigating the resources MT201813HR

Agriculture related MontGuides

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Outdoors, Environment and Wildlife

Yard and Garden

Interested in attending classes?

Interested in attending classes offered by MSU Cascade County Extension? Be sure to complete the contact me form and we will send you an email on upcoming classes in the area of Family and Consumer Sciences!


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and Montana State University Extension prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cody Stone, Director of Extension, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.