Our webpages must be accessible so we have our documents in printable/downloadable PDF version first, then we have the document in a webpage version. You may need to scroll through the page to find the document you are looking for.

Flathead County May 2023 NewsletterMSU Logo



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

May 2023

Montana State University Extension

 Flathead County Newsletter

Featured Articles:

Page 7: Club / Ambassador Update

Pages 8-10: County Congress Summary

In this issue:

Page 2:  Important Dates & Meetings

Pages 3 - 6: Information from MSU Ext. Office

Page 7: Cloverbud, Club, Ambassador updates

Pages 8-10: County Congress summary / photos

Pages 11-13: Fair Schedule / Camping info

Page 14: 4-H Council / Foundation updates

Pages15-16: State 4-H Events and Info

Pages 17-18: Animal Science Projects

Pages 19-20: Market Livestock Projects

Page 21: Resources

Page 22: Office Information

Page 23: Chili Tomato Beefy Macaroni

May 2023 Important Dates & Meetings


🍀 May 2, Flathead 4H Foundation Scholarship Due by 5pm

🍀 May 2, Dog Project 7pm Fairgrounds

🍀 May 4, Little Chief/Hand to Heart  Applications Due by 5pm

🍀 May 5, Hog Ear Tag Forms due to Extension Office

🍀 May 5-7, 4-H Horse Camp

🍀 May 12-14, Camp Counselor Training

🍀 May 15, Sheep Committee Mtg 6-7pm

🍀 May 16, Small Animal Clinic at 6pm in 4-H Bldg

🍀 May 18, Little Chief/Hand to Heart Interviews  4-6pm

🍀 May 20, Beef Clinic 10am

🍀 May 20, Sheep/Goat Producers Workshop  10-5pm

🍀 May 20, 4-H Cloverbud meeting

🍀 May 22, Sheep Handling Clinic

🍀 May 22, Sheep Weigh-in and Tagging 4:30-6:30pm

🍀 May 23, Goat Committee Mtg at 6:30pm in 4H Bldg.

🍀 May 23, Hog Clinic at 6pm in the Country Kitchen

🍀 May 25, Flathead 4-H Council Mtg at 6pm in 4-H Bldg.

🍀 May 27, Horsemanship Clinic at 10am

🍀 May 29, Memorial Day Observed, Extension Office Closed

🍀 May 31, Replacement Hog deadline

🍀 June 1, Market Poultry/Rabbit Enrollment deadline

🍀 June 1, Add/Drop all projects deadline

🍀 June 1, Horse Forms/Cards/Clinics deadline

🍀 June 1, Ag/Livestock Committee Mtg  at 6pm in 4-H Bldg.

🍀 June 7, 6 pm Hog Committee mtg 4-H Bldg

🍀 June 10, 4-H Family Day at Derrell Fenner 4-H Camp

🍀 June 12, Sheep Showmanship Clinic at 6:30

🍀 June 13, Goat Clinic at 6:30pm

🍀 June 15, Montana 4-H Congress Registration Deadline

🍀 June 17, May 20, 4-H Cloverbud meeting

🍀 June 24, Beef Clinic at 12pm at Fairgrounds Mild Fence

🍀 July 8, Beef Clinic 10am-12pm near Trade Show

🍀 July 10, Sheep Showmanship Clinic at 6:30

🍀 July 11-14, Montana 4-H Congress

🍀 July 15, May 20, 4-H Cloverbud meeting

🍀 July 18-21, Flathead 4-H Summer Camp

** Forums, Committees & Council Mtgs in Red Font


Flathead 4-H Volunteers and

County Congress Judges!

Volunteers are essential to community success.

Thank you for your tireless effort to provide valuable learning opportunities to

fellow community members of all ages!

You are making a difference in the lives of others!



Flathead 4-H Members, Volunteers, and Parents,

Good afternoon, I hope this May newsletter finds all of you and your families doing well.  Seems like our couple weeks of Summer weather is over, back to the 40s at night and 50s-60s during the day for next week.  Spring in Montana….

As we reflect on April, the MSU Extension office wishes to send our most sincere appreciation to the volunteers who planned, coordinated, organized, conducted and judged last weekend’s Flathead 4-H County Congress.  It was awesome to see so many 4-H youth competing.  Thank you all for supporting this

important event.  Separately, thank you to all youth, volunteers, and parents who assisted with cleaning up the Darrel Fenner Flathead 4-H camp on Saturday, 22 April 2023. 

This weekend we’re looking forward to the annual Flathead 4-H Horse Camp.  This annual camp provides our horse project participants a great opportunity to practice their skills and prepare for the fair. 

Additionally, this Saturday, we will host the first of four Saturday bushcraft / survival courses.  This MSU Extension grant-funded program is the first of its kind and will be a wonderful experience for Flathead 4-H youth.

Later in May over 25 Flathead 4-H camp counselors will participate in a weekend-long training session to prepare for the Flathead 4-H summer camp (18-21 July 2023) which will offer both overnight and day camp options.  More to follow soon on summer camp registration. 

Also, we’ll help host the MSU Extension Sheep and Goat Workshop at the School District #5 Ag Center on Saturday, May 20th (please see page 5 for details).  Please consider registering for and attending this

excellent educational opportunity. 

Our MSU Extension Agriculture Agent (Mackenzie Dey) will co-host a Weed Identification and Management Seminar on Wednesday, May 31st, please see page 6 for additional details.

Please review pages 15-16 for details on two outstanding summer opportunities at MSU Bozeman: the Montana 4-H State Congress and the free Montana Models (math and statistics) camp for middle and high school students (fully funded by the National Science Foundation).

Please take some time to thoroughly read pages 11 through 13 of this newsletter to familiarize yourselves with the new draft Northwest Montana Fair schedule and related camping information.

As we look out into the late Summer and early Fall there are two potential robotics opportunities for youth in Flathead County.  Flathead 4-H may form a robotics team for the First Lego League and additionally, a local Girl Scout RoboScout Squad is looking for girls who will be 8th-12th graders next academic year 2023-2024.  Please contact the MSU Extension office to express interest for either robotics opportunity. 

We encourage all clubs and county-level projects to submit monthly updates and photos for this

newsletter.  Please consider having a youth from your club or project write a quick summary each month, please see page 7 for additional details. 

Please feel free to contact the MSU Extension office with questions or suggestions for improvement.  We appreciate your candid, constructive input to make things better. 




Rick Balestri

4H and Youth Development Extension Agent

Montana State University Extension Flathead County



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 Eagan Eagles, Rowdy Ropers

                          Flathead Boondocker’s

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

Western Montana Sheep & Goat Workshop

Saturday, May 20th

10:00 AM—5:00 PM

Kalispell Agricultural Education Center

310 FFA Dr. Kalispell, MT

Educational Topics to Include:

Parasites/Diseases, Vaccine Protocols, Lambing, Nutrition/Minerals, Sheering/Wool Quality, Hoof Trimming, Grazing and Forage, Herd Genetics, Direct Marketing & Agritourism

For all sheep and goat types including meat, dairy and hair breeds

Main Speaker: Brent Roeder, Animal and Range Sciences Sheep Specialist

Please Register using the following link: https://forms.gle/4TkPavKi2x3GDQ6E8

Weed Identification & Management Seminar

Wednesday, May 31st

6:00-8:00 pm

Earl Bennett Conference Center

1035 1st Avenue W, Kalispell

2nd Floor


Topics covered:

-Importance of

weed management

-Weed identification

-Management strategies for weeds of concern in the Flathead

Receive 2 applicator credits - No registration required

Presented and brought to you by:

Noel Jinings

Weed Education & Compliance Officer

Mackenzie Dey

MSU Agriculture & Natural Resource Extension Agent

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


4-H Cloverbud, Club, and Ambassador Updates


Cloverbud Activity Days!!!

Saturdays May 20th / June 17th / July 15th at the Sykes Diner Basement (202 2nd Ave. W., Kalispell) at 10 am to 11 am. Please don’t park in the parking lot, park on the side streets. For questions or more information, please call Kadin Simon at 406-890-9798.

Kalispell Senior Center Afternoon Tea Community Service Project:

Country Cousins and Flathead 4-H Ambassadors

On Saturday, April 15th, youth and adults from the Country Cousins 4-H club and Flathead 4-H Ambassadors   assisted the Kalispell Senior Center with serving tea and snacks at their annual Afternoon Tea Party.


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!


4-H Event Updates—County Congress



County Congress


On Saturday, April 29th, 2023 Flathead 4-H conducted the annual County Congress at the School District #5 Ag Center.  In the morning, approximately 45 Cloverbuds, Juniors, and   Senior 4-H members participated in a wide-range of activities including demonstrations /    illustrated talks, public speaking, career communication, Stir ups cooking competition, fashion  revue, and quilting.  Over 100 total youth, judges, volunteers, and parents attended the morning portion of County Congress. 

In the afternoon, approximately 45 youth participated in the multi-species clinic and livestock judging contest. 

Congratulations to all the youth participants for your outstanding preparations and superb performance.  Thank you to the judges from the Flathead County community who graciously volunteered their time to  this excellent youth development event.  Thank you to all the Flathead 4-H volunteer leaders who planned, coordinated, organized, and conducted this great event.  Also, thank you to the parents who attended and encouraged their children and other youth throughout the day. 

4-H Event Updates—County Congress update continued

4-H Event Updates—County Congress update continued


Living Montana’s Best                    August 16-20                         NW MT Fair


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

· Small animal showmanship-time TBA

· Trade Center barns open for decorating and supply drop off-time TBA

Sunday 08/13/23

· Hog check-in, Vet Inspection, Weigh-In (+Ultrasound)-7am-12pm

· Beef/Dairy/Lamb Check-in, Vet Inspection, Weigh-in (Lamb Ultrasound)-1pm-4pm

Monday 08/14/23

· Hog Showmanship-11am-5pm (or until finished)

· Goat Check In and Vet Inspection 6pm-8pm

Tuesday 08/15/23

· Hog Market-8am-1pm (or until finished)

· Lamb Shoe-2pm or one hour after hog show completion

Tuesday Cont.

· 4-H Poultry Check In and Vet Inspection-6pm-7pm

· Small Animal Meeting-7pm

Wednesday 08/16/23

· Beef Show-10am-7pm (or until finished)

· 4-H Rabbit Check In and Vet Inspection and show to follow-8am-4pm

Thursday 08/17/23

· Dairy Show-8:30am

· Goat Show-9:30am

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

Friday 08/18/23

· Round Robin-11am Practice-1:30pm Show

Saturday 08/19/23

Flathead County 4H and FFA Market Livestock Show-8am

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


Camping at the NWMT Fair and Rodeo

Camping Dates: August 11-21


We will be doing a lottery process this year with placement by club. Entries start on May 8th and end on May 15th by 5pm. You have one week to submit at the link below!


We are expanding space sizes and accommodating more camper spaces. For safety measures, there will ne no vehicles allowed in the designated campground. Pedestrians only!


This year camping cost will be $125 and will include a 15ft wide space and two entry gate passes.


NO CARS, Pets, Bikes, Golf Carts, Skateboards, Scooters, etc.


Link to Register: https://form.jotform.com/213206752267151


Fairgrounds 406-758-5810



There are substantial changes in the way we are doing fair camping this year, as we are seeking to expand space sizes, improve safety and accommodate more campers. Please read carefully!


Fair camping is a privilege extended to a limited number of 4-H and FFA families who have occupants participating in 4-H/FFA fair exhibits. Spaces are not available to friends, extended family, or the general public. All spaces will be 15 ft wide and are priced at $125. Price includes fair entry gate access for 2 occupants. Each family will need to submit their information via an online form to be eligible to be entered into a random drawing. If drawn, you will need to make a payment within 72 hours of being notified to retain eligibility. After the maximum number of available spaces have been purchased, families will be assigned spaces grouped together with their club whenever possible. Note: You will not be able to choose a specific space number or location in the campground as we will be utilizing camper sizes and club associations to make placement decisions.


A few other things to note:

· Pets are prohibited.

· Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, golf carts, etc. are NOT ALLOWED in the camping area or any other part of the grounds. Please leave these at home.

· Camping dates are Aug 11-21. Any additional nights can be purchased in advance at the normal rate of $25/night. Do not plan to bring your RV/tent before the 11th unless you make arrangements with the Fair Office as your space may not be available outside those dates.

· 110 electrical outlets are available at many sites, but not all. Outlet locations on the map are approximations only and do not guarantee plug access for any particular site. You may need a long extension cord and will need to be able to work out access with your fellow campers. The breakers are not sufficient for the number of users and will likely blow regularly. Do NOT plan on it for A/C, frig, hot water, etc.

· IMPORTANT: We are going to operate the entire camping area as a pedestrian area. No vehicles will be allowed in the camping area after move-in for the duration of the fair. Tow vehicles will be able to utilize feed passes to park in the North Parking Lot.

· Come to the Fairgrounds Office between Aug 1-11 to pick up your RV permit and wristbands. Please note that these credentials allow for parking your camper and entry gate access for 2 occupants who are not showing animals. Fair exhibitors who are showing animals will be given a fair gate wristband upon animal check-in. Fair admission for others staying in your space who are not showing animals must be purchased separately.


Fairgrounds management reserves the right to revoke camping privileges if rules are not followed. NO REFUNDS.


Flathead 4-H Camp Counselor Training

Friday evening to Sunday noon (12-14 May 2023)

Additional details sent directly to all camp counselors / parents

Please contact the MSU Extension Office with any questions

Little Chief and Hand to Heart  Leadership Award

Due by 5pm Thursday, May 4, 2023 in the Flathead County MSU Extension Office


Little Chief Award: Leadership Award for senior 4-H members. Applicants for the Little Chief Award must be 14-19 years of age as of October 1, 2022.


Hand to Heart Award: Leadership Award for junior 4-H members. Applicants for the Hand to Heart Award must be 8-13 years of age as of October 1, 2022.

Application can be found here:


Join Us for a fun filled day!

Flathead 4-H Club/Family Fun Day!

Location: Darrell Fenner 4-H Camp on Loon Lake in Ferndale

Saturday, June 10, 2023 10am (All Day)

Volunteer Leaders/Chaperones are needed.

Youth 4-H Age 5-18 are welcome to join us for unstructured fun activities such as BBQing, pick up athletic games, canoeing, swimming, campfire, etc.  Lifeguards will be provided.


Youth State Award

New Deadline is Friday, May 5th, 2023. Members apply in a project area they have mastered and "gone above and beyond" regular project expectations. Communication, Goals/Learning, Leadership and Service are the 4 categories. PLEASE reach out to youth in your county that may fit this criteria. Share with Organizational and Project leaders that may know of youth that fit this criteria. https://www.montana.edu/extension/4h/programs/awards/state-awards.html

Montana 4-H Congress​ (Bozeman, July 11-14, 2023)


· Registration will open May 1​ at https://4h.zsuite.org/

· Registration Deadline is June 15​

· Event MSU Bozeman Tuesday July 11- Friday July 14​

· Pre-Congress and Officer Selection Sunday July 9 - Tuesday 11​; State Contests Wednesday July 12

(Members must participate in County Congress to participate in State Congress)

More info at https://www.montana.edu/extension/4h/programs/events/mt_4h_congress/index.html

Montana 4-H International Hosting Opportunities


Explore, Dream, Discover - Host a Delegate from Norway or Japan! 

Montana families have the opportunity to host the following 4-H youth: 

· 2 Norwegian Delegates for approximately 4 weeks, arrive end of June 2023 

· 13 Japanese Delegates for approximately 4 weeks, arrive mid-July 2023 

· 2 Japanese Delegates for the Academic Year, arrive mid/late Aug 2023 thru  June 2024 

Experience cultural exchanges firsthand and broaden your global experience! 

Click here for more information and to apply to host today! 


Please contact Christine Sommers-Austin for at [email protected] or

(406)994-3504 for further information. 



July 25-29 at Montana State University

Montana Models

For more information Mary Alice Carlson ([email protected])


At Montana Models, you will combine your own creativity, ingenuity, and expertise with mathematics and statistics to solve problems that are important to you and your community.


You will sleep in the dorms, eat in the residence halls (scoop your own ice cream!), interact with students and facility, and explore the campus of Montana State University


Montana Models participants come as a team, so you will get to spend time with people you know and make new friends while you are here!


Montana Models is a summer camp for middle and high school youth. We focus on using mathematics and statistics to solve problems that come up in the “real world.” Participants are teams of youth and one or two adult mentors, usually a 4-H leader, teacher, parent, or other community members. The camp is funded by the National Science Foundation, so there is no fee or tuition for youth and adult mentors receive a stipend.


If you decide to participate, a Montana Models staff member will meet with your team up to 4 times during the spring to get to know ou better and help you think about problems that are important to you and your community.


NSF Supported by the National Science Foundation AISL program. DRL 1810992



Dog Project

Tuesday nights  7-8pm at Country Kitchen

Follow us on Facebook: Flathead 4-H Dog Projectis 

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

§ May 16: Clinic at 6pm 4H building-Showmanship, Fair entry & prep

§ June 1: Market Poultry/Rabbit Enrollment deadline on zSuite

Goat Project

May 23: Goat Committee Mtg at 6:30pm in the 4H Building at the fairgrounds

June 13: Fair Prep Clinic at 6:30 pm by  Llama Barn and Mild Fence arena at fairgrounds. 

Please sign up for Remind– This year we are using Remind to send updates about important fair information. To sign up for Flathead County 4H Goat Committee notifications, please visit https://www.remind.com/join/4gce3e


Horse Project Information


*In order to show at the NWMT Fair you must attend TWO horse clinics this year*



May 5-7—Horse Camp; NWMT Fairgrounds

May 27—10 am Horsemanship Clinic; Bring horses; Rocky Mountain Riders Saddle Club

June 1— Horse Forms/Cards/Clinics Deadline (Fees must also be paid by 5pm)

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”.

4-H Trail & Packing 2023 Dates


Orientation/Introduction – January 7, 2023 – 1:00pm – 4:00pm – Forest Service Supervisors Office, 650 Wolf Pack Way, Kalispell (Alternate if Government Shutdown)

§ Campout – May 20 & 22, 2023 – Swisher Lake Trailhead, Eureka, MT



Market Hog Project


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


May Hog Committee Mtg — Cancelled

May 5 – 2023 Ear Tag Form is due (within 7 days of ear tagging)

May 23 – 6pm Hog Clinic in the Country Kitchen

May 31st - Swine Replacement Cut-off

June 7th—6 pm Hog Committee mtg 4-H Bldg


Recommended Best Practices

May: You should have your hog home, weighed and ear tagged by now. Please turn in a completed 2023 Ear Tag form by May 5th.  Worm hogs again. Let hogs out of the pen and begin walking them.  The deadline to declare a Replacement Hog is May 31st.

May 23 Hog Clinic at 6pm in the Country Kitchen. Heidi from Northwest Feeds will be hosting a clinic on getting your show pig ready for the show ring! Will also be bringing the Sullivan Supply Trailer! 


LQA Information

Attending a Hog Livestock Quality Assurance (LQA) workshop is required if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

             If this is your first time showing this species (hog)

             If you are showing the hog as a 1st year senior 4-H member

             If your hog at the 2022 NWMF was under weight, over weight,  or given a white ribbon


If you missed the March 2023 Hog LQA, you are required to contact the Hog Committee to find out other opportunities to meet the LQA requirement.


Hog Committee Announcements

May Hog Committee Meeting Canceled

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

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

Clinic Chair, Rose McIntyre

Member Outreach, Leslie Hawbaker



Market Beef Project

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

May 20: Clinic, 10am Fairgrounds; Washing, Clipping & Showmanship

June 24: Clinic, 12pm Fairgrounds Mild Fence Arena; Hoof Trimming, Pre-Fair

July 8: Clinic, 10am-12pm; Washing, Clipping, Fitting 1pm Mock Show in Trade Center

Market Sheep Project

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

May 22: Weigh in and tagging and Sheep Clinic - 4:30-6:30pm. (We have use of the llama barn, as well as the 4H building, if we move forward with a Skill-a-thon).

May 22: Sheep handling clinic in the mild fence arena

June 12: Sheep Showmanship Clinic at 6:30 (location TBD)

July 10: Sheep Showmanship Clinic at 6:30 (location TBD)


I have also scheduled the 4-H building ongoing for the 3rd Monday of the month, at 6pm, for future sheep committee meetings. 


Potential Clinics.


Carcass / ultrasound / meats evaluation to teach project members more about the end product and meat quality standards - Date TBD


USDA predator defense in conjunction with the goat committee - Date TBD


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 May 29th for Memorial Day.  We 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

SNAP ED Recipe

Chili Tomato Beefy Macaroni

Cost/Serving: $1.64
Yield: [4 servings] / Serving Size = 1 cup

¾ pound ground beef

1½ cups water

1 cup uncooked macaroni

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, not drained

2 teaspoons chili powder (optional)

½ cup Eating Smart Seasoning Mix from the Eating Smart • Being Active Let’s Cook! cookbook*

Salt, to taste

2 ounces (½ cup) shredded cheddar cheese

1. Collect, shred, and measure all ingredients before starting to prepare the recipe.

2. Brown ground beef over medium heat in a large skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat. Remove excess fat by pushing the beef to one side, then tilting the skillet in the opposite direction so the liquid fat pools away from the beef. Use a large spoon to remove the liquid fat from the pan. Discard the fat in the trash can.

3. Put the skillet back on the heat. Add water, macaroni, tomatoes, chili powder (if using), and seasoning mix to the skillet, and combine with the beef.

4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.

5. Taste, and add a small amount of salt if desired.

6. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Put the lid back on for 1 minute until the cheese is melted.

7. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours. Eat within 3 to 5 days.

Be creative! Try using whole grain pasta. Add chopped vegetables such as green pepper or onion in step #3.

*Eating Smart Seasoning Mix

Makes: 2½ cups

Preparation Time: 10 minutes


1¼ teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

¾ cup dried, minced onion

2 cups dry milk


1. Collect and measure all ingredients before starting to prepare the recipe.

2. Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Store in an airtight container.

4. Use in the Chili Tomato Beefy Macaroni recipe as indicated.

Recipe: https://iframe.msuextension.org/NEP/default.cfm?getid=9375

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education enables young families, single recipients and seniors to learn how to best use their food stamp dollars in providing healthy nutrition for  themselves and their families. Adults can sign up for a 6 week course that is fun and provide the basic concepts of good nutrition. The only requirements to join in the classes are: that a person is receiving WIC assistance;  either receiving food stamps or are eligible to receive them; or are getting commodity foods. Please call Caitlin at the Flathead County Extension office at 758-2448 to sign-up for classes.

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