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Flathead County August 2023 NewsletterMSU Logo



Printable version of the Flathead County August 2023 Newsletter (PDF)

August 2023

Montana State University Extension

 Flathead County Newsletter

Featured Articles:

Page 4: Fair Beautification

Page 7-9: 4-H Summer Camp in Review

Page 10-13: 2023 NWMT Fair Info

In this issue:

Page 2:  Important Dates & Meetings

Page 3 - 5: Information from MSU Ext. Office

Page 6: National 4-H Shooting Sports Results

Page 7-9: Flathead 4-H Summer Camp Photos

Page 10: NWMT Fair Info

Page 11: 2023 NWMT Fair Schedule

Page 12: NWMT Fair FAQ’s

Page 13: Flathead Livestock Sale Organization

Page 14: County 4-H Events/Activities

Page 15: Shooting Sports Info

Page 16: Glacier Processing Cooperative

Page 17:  Animal Science Projects

Page 18-20: Market Livestock Projects

Page 21: Cherry Fact Sheet

Page 22: Resources

Page 23: Office Information

Page 24: Red, White and Blue Salad HOM Recipe

August 2023

Montana State University Extension

 Flathead County Newsletter

August 2023 Important Dates & Meetings

🍀 Aug. 1, NWMT Fair Registration Forms due to Fair Office

🍀 Aug. 1, Drug Withdrawal/Commitment to Excellence Forms Due

🍀 Aug. 1, 4-H Market Livestock Records Check by Org Leader Due

🍀 Aug. 1, Buyers Photo due to FLSO  Sale Director

🍀 Aug. 2, Hog Committee Mtg at 6:30pm  in 4-H Bldg.

🍀 Aug 3, Flathead 4-H Foundation Mtg at 6:00pm in 4-H Bldg.

🍀 Aug. 14-18, the Extension Office will be closed (due to fair)

🍀 Aug. 11-20, NWMT Fair

🍀 Aug. 21, Extension Office will be Closed

🍀 Aug. 31, Shotgun Orientation 6-7pm Flathead Valley Trap Club

🍀 Sep. 7, Ag/Livestock Committee Mtg at 6pm in 4-H Building

          *By-laws will be discussed and voted on

🍀 Sep. 16, Cloverbud Activity Day at 10am in Sykes Basement

🍀 Sep. 19, 4-H Awards Ceremony at 5:30 Fairgrounds Expo Bldg.

🍀 Oct. 1-7, National 4-H Week

🍀 Oct. 7, New Family Orientation

** Forums, Committees & Council Mtgs in Red Font

State Congress Results

Livestock Judging

2nd Place Team

Joselyn Hawbaker

Madisyn Hall

Emily Hall

State Award for Excellence in the Rabbit Project

Patience Bain

Congratulations for all your hard work!

For the most updated information, please visit the Flathead 4H Calendar at:




Flathead 4-H Members, Volunteers, and Parents,


Good afternoon, welcome to the month of August, it’s almost fair time!  We wish all Flathead County 4-H members the best as you put in a final couple weeks of hard work, prepare to pack up and go to fair.  July 2023 was a memorable month for Flathead County 4-H as we completed our first overnight summer camp in a couple years.  Please review the message below and the following pages for important info on upcoming events. 


Fair (Part 1). Please see pages 11-13 to review the updated 2023 Northwest Montana (NW MT) Fair Schedule, frequently asked questions, and summary of Flathead Livestock Sales Organization. There have not been any substantive changes to this schedule since we initially included it in the May 2023 newsletter. Please share this fair-related information with all of the Flathead County 4-H members, volunteers, and parents in your club, project, etc. NW MT Fair books are available now in the Fairgrounds Office or the MSU Extension Office and online. The registration deadline for all exhibitors is August 1st. Please register before this deadline if you would like to participate in the 2023 NW MT Fair.


Fair (Part 2).  Fair can be a stressful and emotional time for youth, volunteers, parents, and employees.  We respectfully request everyone involved exercise patience and kindness during this week.  If an issue arises, please bring it to the attention of the respective barn superintendent immediately.  These excellent volunteers are well-equipped to resolve most everything.  Please do not let issues fester.  The MSU Extension Agents, FFA Advisors, and Fair Board will be on-site and ready to address grievances and appeals. If an activity is illegal outside of the NW MT Fair, then it’s certainly illegal at the NW MT Fair.  Let’s all aim to have an outstanding fair, focused on celebrating the time and effort Flathead County’s youth have invested in their projects.


Camp. Flathead County 4-H completed its annual overnight summer camp in mid-July at the Darrell Fenner Flathead County 4-H Camp.  We sincerely appreciate the volunteer adult chaperones, nurses, and cooks who enabled this camp to take place.  Our well-trained counselors led approximately 35 campers through a week of fun activities including lake time (swimming, canoeing, and log rolling), dancing, building primitive shelters, campfire cooking, camp songs, arts and crafts, and the Camp Olympics.  We welcome constructive recommendations from campers, counselors, parents and volunteers on how to improve camp for next summer.  We plan to send a survey out to parents after the NW MT Fair to identify what dates are best for our camp next summer.  We’ll also send out a camp save the date / RSVP to help us determine how many families are interested in sending campers next summer and which adults are available to assist with required nurse and chaperone duties.  Please see page 7-9 for some photos from camp.  


Processing. Many of you have expressed interest in the future of processing capacity in the Flathead Valley. Please see page 16 for information from the Glacier Processing Cooperative regarding an upcoming meeting at the Fairgrounds Trade Center on Monday, July 31st at 7pm.


Shooting Sports. The Flathead County 4-H Shooting Sports shotgun trap project still has open slots remaining for its Fall season.  Please see page 15 and sign up at the soonest. This project is a unique opportunity for our 4-H youth and it fills up quickly!


Lastly, please allow me to preview a few events scheduled to take place after the NW MT Fair. 

•               First, on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023 Flathead County 4-H will host the annual NW MT Fair awards banquet in the Fairgrounds Expo Center, including a pot luck dinner, followed by the presentation of awards. 

•               Secondly, please save the date for a couple National 4-H week events from October 1st to 7th, 2023.  Flathead County 4-H clubs are encouraged to participate in the window display contest.  Please consider approaching a local business who will allow your club to place a 4-H display in their front window.  On Saturday October 7th, 2023 Flathead County 4-H will host a new family orientation where clubs and projects are encouraged to set up demonstrations, displays.

•               Lastly, for the teens, Flathead County 4-H plans to host its annual 4-H Prom in October, details to follow soon. 




Rick Balestri

4H and Youth Development Extension Agent

Montana State University Extension Flathead County


I am beyond grateful to all 24 of our volunteers and my fellow Extension Agents that came out to help beautify the fairgrounds. Together, we planted over 1,000 annuals into 27 planter boxes! I am thrilled to show them off come Fair time and boast about how wonderful our 4-H'ers are. Thank you for digging in the dirt with us, sharing laughs and making memories. 

See you at Fair! 

~Mackenzie Dey

Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent 

Pressure Gauge testing in the Flathead County Extension Office

Low acid foods such as vegetables, soup, stew and meat require a pressure canner to reach high temperatures to safely can and store low acid food. Pressure gauges should be tested at least once a year.

Please call ahead for an appointment.

Ashli Darrach

Family and Consumer Science and 4-H Extension Agent




There is a new 4-H Volunteer requirement for the current 2022-2023 4-H year. In addition to registering on ZSuite and completing a background check, all volunteers are now required to complete the Volunteer Orientation Training on ZSuite before they will be considered a    certified, active volunteer. Only certified, active volunteers are covered under Flathead  County 4-H Liability Insurance.  Also, if a volunteer fails to keep their 4-H volunteer status “active” every year, they will be required to complete all of the previously mentioned requirements, including the background check.  Several of our volunteers are not active at this point. Please complete all requirements and pay your registration fees at the soonest.  Thank you!

The 4-H Volunteer Orientation Training is located on ZSuite under the Clover Academy tab. 


Please note: Please call or visit the  MSU Extension Office if you encounter challenges completing this training, we can help!


Flathead County 4-H District Information

Some county wide events and activities would not be possible without the time, effort and cooperation of Flathead County 4-H clubs in each district.

Please contact the other org leaders in your district to find out how you can help!

 Thank you for your continued help!

Current 4-H year 2022-23 District Assignments:

District 1: County Congress

District 2: County Fair Awards

District 3: Host the Buyers Breakfast

District 4: Buyers Breakfast Help & Foods Fair


4-H Club Designations:

District 1:       B&F Livestock, Trail Blazers, Montford Egan Eagles, Rowdy Ropers

                          Flathead Boondockers

District 2:       Golden Spurs, Dandy Dudes & Dolls, Country Cousins, Glacier Stars, Glacier View,                  Mountain Peak

District 3:       Half Moon Highlanders, Swan River BB, Hilltop Riders, Rocky Mountain BR

                          Flathead Farmers

District 4:       Grand View Supremes, LaSalle Boosters, Lakeview Livestock, Open Horizons,

                          A Bit of Difference, Smith Valley Booster


4-H Club Reports

Attention 4-H Club Reporters!!

What is a 4-H Club Reporter? Do you know what a news reporter is for the newspaper or for the TV news? A 4-H Club Reporters is the same thing except they report what is going on in their 4-H Club. Do you have a story you would like to feature in the Extension newsletter? We are going to feature a different club each month so get your keyboards ready and keep your ears and eyes open for some fabulous news to share with the Extension community.

Please email your story to [email protected]

Some article ideas:

· Tell us about your club: history, milestones, exciting news.

· What has your 4-H club been up to?

· What 4-H activities have your members recently participated in?

· What kind of fun activities/community service have you done?

· Other topics: demonstrations, club goals, leadership development, and many more


We can’t wait to see what is going on in your 4-H Club!

Congratulations to

Flathead County 4-H Youth who competed in the

National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship

June 25-30 in Grand Island, NE!

Air Rifle:

· Brynn Mason, MontFord Egan Eagles


**The Montana 4-H Girls Air Rifle Team won the 3-P (position) and Standing competitions, in addition earning second place in the Silhouette and the overall competitions. **



· Taylor Newton, Half Moon Highlanders 4-H Club

· Lindy Porter Half Moon Highlanders 4-H Club

· Brookann Lauria Half Moon Highlanders 4-H Club


**Taylor Newton won the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championship in the Field

Recurve Archery competition.**

**Lindy Porter won 9th place in the FITA Recurve Archery competition and 8th place in the 3-D Recurve Archery competition.**

**The four archer Montana 4-H Recurve team won 5th place overall in Nebraska.**




July 2023 Summer Camp Photos




Important NWMT Fair Information:


4-H General Projects and 4-H Home Economic

Entries must be dropped off in the Expo Building on Monday, August 14, 2023 from 9am until 8pm.  *Please bring a copy of your list of entries you registered for with you to drop off your entries. 

As the fair schedule has changed for some of the market livestock species, please plan ahead to ensure your 4-H General Project(s) and 4-H Home Economic(s) projects will be ready to turn in Monday, Aug. 14 between 9am and 8pm. 

Please see the 2023 NWMT Fairbook, located in the Fair Office, the Extension Office and online, for a complete list of all categories.

Here is the link to the online 2023 NWMT Fairbook: https://www.nwmtfair.com/fairbook-2023/

Pie Eating Contest!

This year, the Pie-eating Contest will be at the Big Sky Stage (used to be called the North Stage) on Thursday, August 17th, at 4pm.  As we have in the past, we will have 3 age categories:  Junior Division (9 years and younger),  Youth Division (10-15), and Older Division (16 and up).  We will start with the Junior Division.  The winners in each category will receive $20.  Look for signs about it and sign up sheets near the Extension Office trailer in the south end of the Trade Center.  This is your opportunity to eat like an animal while your parents actually cheer you on!!!  This is real deal 4-H stuff, don’t pass this up!

 Battle of the Barns!

Battle of the Barns, a time-honored tradition of team games, will be Friday, August 18th, at 3pm in the east side yard of the Trade Center.  We will have 2 age categories, Junior Division (11 years and younger), Older Division (12 years and older).  Your team will fit into the bracket based on the age of your oldest member.  Get your 4-person team together and sign up at the south end of the barn near the Extension Office trailer.  Winners get $15 Chick-fil-A gift cards for each member of the team!  Show up with your Game Face on and win this critical contest and the bragging rights for your Barn!!!

4-H Barn Dance!

There will be 4-H Barn Dance in the Trade Center on Saturday August 19th in the evening. More details to follow.


Living Montana’s Best                     August 16-20

2023 4H Livestock Schedule

The below schedule will be published in the Fair Book, but is dependent on the success of the new small livestock scale.

Saturday 08/12/23                                                                                Tuesday Cont.

· Small animal showmanship-time TBA                                 *4H Poultry Check In and Vet Inspection-

· Trade Center Barns open for decoration                                 6pm-7pm

      And supply drop off-time TBA                                               *Small animal Meeting –7pm

Sunday 08/13/23                                                                                   Wednesday 08/16/23

· Hog Check In, Vet Inspection, Weigh In                               *Beef Show-10am-7pm (or until finished)

      (*Ultrasound)-7am-12pm                                                      *4-H Rabbit Check In and Vet Inspection

· Beef/Dairy/Lamb Check In, Vet Inspection,                          with show to follow-8am-4pm

       Weigh In (Lamb Ultrasound)-1pm-4pm

Monday 08/14/23                                                                                 Thursday 08/17/23

· Hog Showmanship-11am-5pm (or until finished)             *Dairy Show-8:30am

· Goat Check In and Vet Inspection 6pm-8pm                      *Goat Show-9:30am

                                                                                                          *4H Poultry Show-10am or following completion of Open   show

Tuesday 08/15/23                                                                            Friday 08/18/23

· Hog Market-8am-1pm (or until finished)                            *Round Robin-11:30am Practice-1:30pm Show

· Lamb Show-2pm or one hour after hog show


Saturday 08/19/23

Flathead County 4-H and FFA Market Livestock Sale

With any questions, please contact the Fair Office 406-758-5810. If changes need to be made they will be announced.


Northwest Montana (NW MT) Fair Market Livestock Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why are there so many changes for the August 2023 NW MT Fair Market Livestock shows and sale?

There are several changes for the August 2023 NW MT Fair Market Livestock shows and sale because of observations, comments, suggestions, and recommendations from youth participants, parents, and volunteers.  The sheer number of market livestock youth participants and animals (50% increase in youth / animals since 2014), the value of the sale (195% increase in sale value since 2014),  the quantity of available volunteers,    available space in the Flathead County Fairgrounds Trade Center, and other reasons all combined to compel change.  In this case, the conditions have changed, doing nothing and maintaining the status quo of how we’ve done fair in the past was not a viable option.  After the 2023 NW MT Fair, we will welcome constructive input on how to improve the fair and include those recommendations into our planning for the 2024 NW MT Fair. 

2. What are the changes for August 2023 NW MT Fair Market Livestock shows and sale?

· Schedule.  The schedule for the August 2023 NW MT Fair Market Livestock shows and sale have changed from previous years.  Please see the updated schedule on pages 9 and 10 of this Flathead County 4-H July 2023 newsletter.

· Sale / Auction Organization.  Given the growth (# of participants / animals and $ value) in the NW MT Market Livestock sale / auction      coupled with a decrease in the number of volunteers available to plan, coordinate and conduct the sale, a change was necessary to ensure the success of the sale in 2023 and the years into the future.  Earlier this year, the Flathead Livestock Sale Organization (FLSO) was formed to address this need and it will benefit buyers, youth participants, and the community.  Please see the FLSO one page summary on page 12 of this Flathead County 4-H July 2023 newsletter.

· Schedule for Sunday, 13 August 2023.  The schedule for the first Sunday of fair (13 August 2023) has changed to now include market   livestock animal dropoff, check-in, veterinarian check, weigh-in, ultrasound (swine and sheep only), and hip height (beef only).  Swine will  complete these events between 7am and 12 noon.  Sheep and beef will complete these events between 1pm and 4pm.  The Flathead County 4-H Council purchased a new small livestock scale and cage.  This new scale, in addition to the existing scale, will enable us to weigh-in sheep and beef simultaneously on Sunday afternoon.  This new schedule for Sunday, 13 Aug 2023 allows us to spread out the market      livestock showmanship and market shows across the week and create a more bearable schedule for youth participants, animals, and        volunteers.

· Buyers’ Photos.  Youth are required to email a quality photo of themselves and their market livestock animal to the Flathead Livestock Sale Organization (FLSO) Sale Director.   All required details (email address, due date, youth attire, background requirements, photo format,     example photos, etc) will be emailed separately through MSU Extension to all Flathead County 4-H families and through the Kalispell FFA chapter to FFA families.  Youth who have a primary and back up market livestock animal will submit two total photos, one of the youth with their primary animal and another with the youth and their back up animal.

3. Is there enough processor capacity in Flathead County to process all of the market livestock animals sold at the NW MT Fair Market Livestock sale on Saturday, 19 August 2023?

As of late June 2023, all three local Flathead County processors who processed animals from the 2022 NW MT Fair Market Livestock sale have conceptually committed to being able to process the same amount of animals in late August 2023.  All or the majority of the market beef will be transported to a commercial feedlot for several days after the 2023 NW MT Fair Market Livestock sale to enable the processors to focus their initial processing efforts on swine and sheep.  FLSO will pay for access to and feed at this commercial feedlot.

4. Do I need to pay the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce a $60 / $65 / $70 market livestock registration fee in order to weigh in my animal on Sunday, 13 August 2023?

No.  Please see the following question (#5) for additional relevant details.

5. What is the 1% Buyer’s Premium and 3% Sales Commission for the 2023 NW MT Market Livestock sale / auction?

FLSO will collect a 1% Buyer’s Premium and 3% Sales Commission for all market livestock sold at the 2023 NW MT Market Livestock sale / auction in order to pay invoices for essential services and supplies to run the sale / auction.  For example if an animal sells for $1000 at the auction, the buyer will pay 101% of the final sales price ($1010) and the youth will receive 97% of the final sales price ($970).  Please see the FLSO one page summary on page 11 of this Flathead County 4-H July 2023 newsletter for additional details on the specific invoices FLSO will pay from the funds generated by the 1% Buyer’s Premium and 3% Sales Commission.  Most of the other county or multi-county fairs in the region conduct their sales in a similar fashion.  The 4% total FLSO is collecting (1% Buyer’s Premium + 3% Sales Commission) is the minimum FLSO can charge in order to pay required invoices.  Most other fairs in the region collect a similar or greater %.


Why was the Flathead Livestock Sales Organization (FLSO) created?

Because the Northwest Montana (NW MT) Fair Market Livestock Auction has grown significantly in its  complexity, size, and value during the past years.  It is no longer feasible for generous volunteers from the  Flathead County community to prepare, organize, coordinate, and conduct the sale without assistance.

How does FLSO benefit buyers at the NW MT Fair Market Livestock Auction?

· Payment to a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit entity instead of directly to a youth

· Increased payment options (on-site at the auction via credit card or check, or pay by check after

receiving a written invoice)

How does FLSO benefit Flathead 4-H or Kalispell FFA Chapter youth who sell their steers, hogs, or sheep at the NW MT Fair Market Livestock Auction?

· Provides insurance to pay for any market livestock animal deaths between the auction and processing date

· Pays for any necessary veterinary treatment for market livestock animal between the auction and     processing date

· Increases number of potential buyers due to 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit status

· No requirement for youth to submit W-9s to buyers

What does the sales commission and buyer’s premium pay for?

· Creating a reserve / insurance to purchase a replacement animal in the event a market livestock animal dies or is condemned between the auction and processing date

· Veterinary costs associated with treating market livestock between the auction and processing date

· Access to a commercial feed lot to hold steers until their processing date

· Feed for steers at the commercial feed lot

· Contracts for the auctioneer, ultrasound technician (swine and sheep), and sales director

· Marketing / advertising costs

· Legal costs to file for 501(c)(3) tax exempt, non-profit status

· Professional accounting and auditing to maintain 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit status

· National pork, beef, and lamb council / board / payments

· Printing of official photos of youth and market livestock for buyers and families

· Administrative costs (including printing, postage, etc)

· Support of the 4-H Buyers’ Breakfast and the FFA Buyers’ Lunch

Who is on the FLSO Board of Directors?

· Volunteers from Flathead County with extensive agriculture and livestock experience who represent the following sectors: agri-business, meat processing, construction, and financial services in addition to a Flathead County Fair Board member, a member of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, the Flathead County Fairgrounds Manager, a Kalispell FFA Chapter advisor, and a Montana State University (MSU) Extension Agent.


Cloverbud Activity Days!!!

No Cloverbud Activity Day in August

Saturday September 16th at 10am- 12noon at Sykes Basement. Please don’t park in the parking lot. Thank you!

For questions or more information, please call Kadin Simon at 406-890-9798.

Ag/Livestock Committee Meeting

By-Law Changes

The Ag/Livestock Committee will be voting on changing the committee by-law at the

Ag/Livestock  Committee Meeting September 7th at 6pm in the 4-H Building.

You are encouraged to attend. There should be at least one adult and one youth

representative from each club. Thank you!



Reserve your spot soon as time slots are filling up quickly! This program is open to all skill levels including 1st time beginners through advanced shooters.

Shotgun Orientation will be August 31 @ 6pm

at the Flathead Valley Clay Target Club. 

Weekly shooting will be on Thursdays beginning September 7th and run through November 2nd (skipping Oct 26th). Shooting times at 4:30 pm, 5:15 pm and 6 pm. 

Other Information:

- $30 participation fee

- Ammo included

- Loaner Shotguns available 

- Members must provide eye protection 

- All members and parents must attend orientation

- Parents must be present at all shooting times

- Open to all skill levels including 1st time beginners

- Contact [email protected] for more info




Glacier Processing Cooperative

Membership Kickoff Meeting Monday, July 31st @ 7:00 PM Trade Center Building at the Flathead County Fairgrounds. 265 North Meridian Road Kalispell, MT 59901 The current owner of Vandevanter Meats is wishing to retire and interested in selling the business. Loss of local meat processing for local farmers and ranchers will be severely detrimental. Come and join in with other area farmers and ranchers and learn how to be engaged in this producer-driven solution. WE SUPPORT MONTANA MEAT PROCESSING, and will ensure sustainability, in all senses of the word, of the cooperative business for generations of ranchers, producers, co-op owners, investors, employees, consumers, and community members to come. The OPPORTUNITY: Unmet demand also creates an ideal scenario for expanding the facility, adding local jobs, fostering business growth for over 300 local producers. and building local food system resiliency. Membership Kickoff Meeting: GLACIER PROCESSING COOPERATIVE Questions? Visit www.glacierprocessing.com How to become a member and what membership means The results of the feasibility study Current opportunities for funding and expansion Network and meet producers learn about: MEET THE CO-OP DIRECTORS: Mark Siderius -Chair Casey Olson - Vice Chair Lisa Wade-Mayorga - SecretaryTreasurer Chris Fritz Toby Hook Please join us for a presentation, panel discussion, and Q&A. Snacks and drinks provided Meeting Details montanafarmersunion.com


Dog Project

Meetings every Tuesday at 7pm at 605 Farm View Lane

Every Saturday in Summer: Fast CAT Race Meeting at 1pm at the Humane

Society on Hwy 93.

Follow us on Facebook: Flathead 4-H Dog Project

Or https://www.facebook.com/groups/804856783927485

Questions contact Lesley Fix at  [email protected] or (406) 314-3212.

Dog Committee Meeting TBA

4-H Small Animal Project

Please check the fair book for the fair schedule and

other fun barn competitions!

If you have any questions please contact:

KelleySue Bain at [email protected]

Ashley Ball at [email protected]

Goat Project

Goat Project

August 1: Fair registration closes

August 14: Goat check in 6-8 pm

August 17: Goat show 9:30 am

Please sign up for Remind for important updates



Horse Project Information

-Fair practice July 31 6pm showmanship and 7pm horsemanship patterns @Bad Rock Arena

-Ranch horse Aug 2nd and 9th @6pm @ Blackjack Arena

NWMT Fair Information 

August 11: Horses can be brought into the fairgrounds for the 4-H Horse Show after 4:00pm

August 12: Northwest Montana 4-H Horse Show starts at 8:00am

**Horses are required to go home after the 4-H Horse Show unless the 4-H member is

showing the horse in the Open Horse Show the next day.

Sep. 9-10: 2023 Montana 4-H Working Ranch Horse Show at 406 Arena, Vaughn, MT

Sep. 22-24: 2023 Montana 4-H State Horse Show at Cottonwood Arena, Joliet, MT

Horse Committee has a Facebook page: Flathead County 4-H Horse Project & a 4-H Horse project remind page if you have the “Remind App”.

Market Hog Project

*Please note: 1 hog clinic is required to show a market hog at the NWMT Fair*

August 1: Fair registration Deadline.

August 2: Hog Committee Mtg at 630pm in 4-H Building. *We are asking all those interested in volunteering at fair to attend. -Youth and adults.

Remember that weigh-in is happening at drop off this year! Please come with a clean pig so an ultrasound can be taken! 

Livestock pictures and registration due by Aug 1st at 5pm (this may not be needed if the news letter is coming out after the 1st). 

Please reach out if you have any concerns with hog weights. It’s the final push so be training every day! See you all at fair! 

Recommended Best Practices

August: No medication after August 1st. Register for the fair by August 1st. Walk pig every day. Continue bathing pig.

Hog Committee Announcements

August 2nd: Hog Committee Meeting at 6:30pm in the 4-H Building

Hog Fair schedule changes have been posted to the Flathead County Hog Committee Facebook page. 

The Hog committee will be meeting on the 1st Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm at the Fairgrounds Country Kitchen. Please plan to join us if you are interested in being involved this year. If you do not have a designated hog leader for your club, please contact the Hog Committee and we will help you develop or identify one.

If you have any questions, contact the Hog Committee:

Chair, Mary Davidson (406)407-3588 or [email protected]

Vice Chair, Paul Wirth

Clinic Chair, Rose McIntyre

Member Outreach, Leslie Hawbaker

Michelle Baker: (406) 253-7023 or [email protected]



Market Beef Project

*This year 1 clinic is required to do the market project.*

August 3rd: Mock/Practice Show from 5pm-8pm at the Fairgrounds

There will be a mock/practice show on August 3rd from 5pm to 8pm at the Fairgrounds.  This will allow members and calves to get some practice in the show ring. It is also a great opportunity to walk calves through the barn before Fair. Show clothes are not necessary but bring show halter, comb, and show stick.
August 9th: Open Barn from 5pm to 8pm at the Fairgrounds
We will also be hosting an "open barn" on August 9th from 5pm to 8 pm at the Fairgrounds.  This is an opportunity for members and calves to trailer to the Fairgrounds and walk through the barn before Fair.

Please RSVP to Ginger May at 406-253-8550 if you are planning on attending either or both dates.

Please remember that hip height and weighing will take place the same time as vet check on Sunday, August 13th from 1pm to 4pm. Do not be late! The vet is only there until 4pm. Please allow you and your calf plenty of time, if needed, to settle before heading to the scale

BEFORE 4pm. Have brand inspection paperwork with you when headed to the scale. Please reach out if you have any questions. 


Market Sheep Project

Important Message from the Sheep Committee

Sheep Project Members!

As we move closer to the 2023 NW MT Fair, there are some important changes you need to be aware of leading up to and prior to your arrival on Sunday, August 13.

First, there are changes to the market livestock sale for 2023. What this means to market sheep project members is you are now responsible for providing a picture of yourself (the exhibitor) with your sale lamb, to the sale committee by August 1, 2023. Details for the submission of your picture will follow as they become available. Additionally, you will not have to check in and pay a fee prior to weighing in when you arrive on Sunday. Your sale fee will be directly withheld from your check. Stay tuned for more information regarding the new sale committee and what you can expect this year.

New for this year, all sheep will be vet checked, weighed and ultra sounded when you arrive at the fair. This means your lambs must be slick shorn upon arrival. Additionally, your lambs ear tag should be clean and easy for the check in officials to read. Please work with your sheep leaders to coordinate shearing prior to arriving at the fair and reach out to the sheep committee if you need assistance. As a reminder, the sheep committee has a pair of clippers and a stand that can be checked out by project members. 

There is a new location in the Trade Center Building for checking in and weighing your lamb at the fair, likely the west side roll up door by the wash racks.

*Please have a plan to keep your lamb cool when you arrive in case it's a hot day and there is a long line

Plan to attend the sheep exhibitor meeting in the bleachers at 9am on Monday, August 14th.

During this meeting you will receive your exhibitor packet, exhibitor number and other important information for the week.

The start time of the sheep show has been moved to Tuesday at 2pm or 1 hour following the conclusion of the market hog show.

Please reach out to the sheep committee if you have any questions or need additional

information. Inga Lake - 406-261-3807 or Kim Morrison - 406-314-3732


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Chokecherries can be grown by a variety of methods including by seed, rhizome cuttings, and grafting. Dormant plants should be planted in early spring or late fall at least six feet apart. Proper pruning is important to promote branching and fruit production. Chokecherry bushes and other bush cherries should produce fruit 2-4 years after planting. Mature bushes produce about 30 pounds of fruit each year. For more information about growing and caring for cherry bushes and trees, visit www.msuextension.org for MontGuides and resources or contact your Extension office. Selection Cherries do not ripen after picking, so they are harvested when ripe. Choose ripe cherries that are firm, glossy, and vibrantly colored. Avoid soft, bruised, or wrinkled cherries. Wash cherries prior to eating or using in a recipe. Storage While cherries can be stored at room temperature, storing in the refrigerator in a perforated or open plastic bag will extend their shelf life. Cherries absorb surrounding odors, so store cherries away from strong-smelling foods. Cherries can be frozen or dried for enjoying later. Frozen cherries can be cooked or used in baked goods. Keep dried cherries in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to one year. Pit cherries prior to freezing, drying, or cooking. Cooking Pit. Cut the cherry in half and scoop out pit with finger or spoon and discard the pit. A cherry pitter is a kitchen gadget that will make the process easier. Fresh. Rinse, dry, and remove the pits to enjoy cherries as is, or slice in halves or quarters to serve in a fruit or green salad, salsa, yogurt, or granola. Mix into a smoothie for an added sweet and sour flavor and red color. Frozen. Arrange a single layer of cleaned and pitted cherries on a tray and put into the freezer. Once frozen, store in an air tight container or freezer bag. Enjoy this juicy, cool treat on a warm day, or add to smoothies and baked goods. Baked. Add pitted cherries to pies, muffins, or breads. Roast a single layer of pitted cherries sprinkled with sugar to make baked cherry topping or combine with poultry, game, or pork for a sweet and tart addition. Dried. Place whole pitted or halved cherries on a tray and dehydrate at 125-135°F for approximately 12-24 hours. Season. Enhance the flavor of cherries with cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla, sage, basil, mint, or thyme. Preserve. For information on preserving sweet cherries, tart cherries, or chokecherries as a jelly or syrup, look for Extension MontGuides on: Making Jams, Jellies, and Syrups including with wild Montana berries and fruit. Visit https://nutrition.msuextension.org/ and click on the food preservation link or contact your Extension Office. Nutrition Information All cherry varieties are packed with flavor and nutrients. One cup of sweet cherries, tart cherries, or chokecherries provides a good source of vitamin C. Unlike many animals, human bodies do not produce this important vitamin. Vitamin C helps build a strong immune system for fighting off disease and infection. It also helps the body absorb iron from plantbased sources. It is one more reason to eat your cherries! Tart cherries are also loaded with vitamin A, which is important for vision and helps with many other functions in the body. Cherries credit as a fruit for National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. Dig Deeper For sources and photo credits along with more recipes, lessons, quick activities, resources, and guides, visit: www.mtharvestofthemonth.org



Volunteer Leader Teaching Resources

Learning Lab Kits Available for Leaders to Check-out as Teaching Resources

Beef, Dairy, Dog, Horse, Sheep, Swine, Poultry, Rabbit, Goat, and Plant Identification!

Please contact the Extension Office for availability at 758-5553 or [email protected].

· Beef

· Dairy

· Dog

· Horse

· Sheep

· Swine

· Poultry

· Rabbit

· Goat

· Plant Identification

Interested in learning to judge livestock?

Flathead 4-H Foundation has purchased a membership to livestockjudging.com for Flathead 4-H members. Learn from professionals with 524 classes of livestock, horse, dairy, poultry, rabbit, and meats. Contests and competitions are occasionally also available.

Step 1

Go to livestockjudging.com

Click "sign up" 

To create an account if they don't have one.

Step 2

Log into http://www.livestockjudging.com/code

Enter this CODE ....3epk

This will now take you to your account which will now say Elite Account at the top. 


Soil Probe Available


It is almost that time ~ Growing season is around the corner, and it is time to test your soil!


Spring is a great time to test your soil since it gives an accurate representation of what your soil needs for this growing season. 


Soil testing can help you know the following: your soil texture, soil pH, nutrients available for plants, and so much more! This can help you better understand what kind of fertilizer, how much of that fertilizer, and soil amendments your plants/crops need to optimize their growth. 


Contact Mackenzie, the Agriculture Extension Agent, for more information on soil testing.

Office number: (406) 758-5554

email: [email protected]


Need 4-H Project Manuals and you can’t get to the Extension Office? No worries, go to https://store.msuextension.org/ and search for the 4-H project manuals you need, select them, go to the check out, then use your credit card or debit card, then finish your purchase, and have them shipped right to your door. It’s that easy!



The Office Administrator goes to lunch every day from 1-2pm, many times the Extension office door is locked during that time. She also has occasional meetings and errand for the county. If you need special accommodations or a guaranteed meeting with someone, please feel free to call ahead and make an appointment.


Just a gentle reminder…

If the Extension Office doesn’t have a club meeting or event on written record in the office the meeting or event will not be covered under the 4-H insurance. Please let the Extension office know the date, time, location, what the event is, or if it is a meeting before the 4-H event, meeting, or activity.  You can use the Event, Activity and Fundraising Form if you like so you don’t forget anything or you can send the Extension office an email. If your group is doing a fundraiser, of any type, you must submit a Fundraiser Form to the Extension office to be put in your club file.  We often get questions from community members about various fundraisers. 


Browse the new Montana 4-H merchandise at the MSU Extension Store and paint our state green with 4-H T-shirts, mugs, buttons, and stickers! Start shopping at the 4-H Mall!

Dear Flathead 4-H members, leaders & families:

The MSU Extension Flathead County Office will be closed from August 14-18, as well as August 21st and September 4th. In addition, the office may be periodically closed for meetings or to run errands. If you need to speak with us personally, please call for an appointment time. Please leave paperwork in basket or leave in mailbox on front of building for confidential information.  Our schedule is subject to change at anytime.

Thank you,

Rick Balestri

Montana State University

4-H Extension Agent

[email protected]

Phone: 406-758-5552

Mackenzie Dey

Montana State University

Agriculture Extension Agent

[email protected]

Phone: 406-758-5554

Ashli Darrach

Montana State University

4-H/FCS Extension Agent

[email protected]

Phone: 406-758-2448

Dee Cooper

Office Administrator

MSU Extension, Flathead County

[email protected]

Phone: 406-758-5553

Harvest of the Month Recipe

Red, White, and Blue Salad

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers (https://www.nwcherries.com/recipes) Servings 6 Ingredients Base 1 1/2 cups Fresh sweet cherries, pitted 1 1/2 cups Rainier cherries, pitted 1 1/2 cups White peach, large, pitted, and cubed 1 1/2 cups Fresh blueberries Minted Honey Lemon Dressing 3 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 Tbsp Honey 1 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil 1 Tbsp Fresh mint, chopped 1/4 tsp Salt Preparation 1. Toss cherries, peaches, and blueberries in a b owl. 2. In a separate bowl, combine lemon dressing ingredients (lemon, honey, olive oil, mint, salt) and whisk well. 3. Drizzle dressing over fruit and toss gently. 4. Serve Immediately. Dig Deeper For information recipes, lessons, resources, guides, and more, visit: mtharvestofthemonth.org


MSU Extension—Flathead County

Rick Balestri

4-H & Youth Development Agent

Mackenzie Dey

Agriculture, Natural Resource & Community Development Extension Agent

Ashli Darrach

4-H & Family Consumer Sciences Agent

Dee Cooper

Office Administrator


1108 South Main Street Ste. 4

Kalispell,  MT 59901

Phone:   (406) 758-5553

Fax:         (406) 758-5881

Email:     [email protected]

Web:      https://www.montana.edu/extension/flathead

Calendar: https://www.montana.edu/flathead/calendar.html

Find us on Facebook at Flathead4H

State Web Sites:



Office Hours

Mon-Thurs 8am-5pm, Fri 8am-4:30pm,

Closed 1-2pm for lunch


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and the 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