March Newsletter 2022

As we look forward to the spring, I hope that the month of March is relatively open and
 pleasant, and we get good rains in March, April, May, and June. If we don’t see measurable precipitation, it could be a very long summer.

The shooting sports members are gearing up for the run into the State Shoot in Bozeman March 5th and 6th.  Good luck to all our shooters, both rifle and archery. I know that all the members are well coached and are really hitting their targets now.

4-H Communication Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 24th.  This event is a spectacular way to improve valuable life skills. I would strongly encourage all members to participate. Additionally, those members that are 13 years old or older and that win a blue ribbon or higher can advance to State 4-H Congress.  Further, those that are not in a club, but rather are classified as “At Large” must either participate in this event or complete two community service projects. Also, please be aware of the rules that concern the number of meetings that must be attended by members to be eligible for the Fair.

Swine projects and biosecurity continue to be of the utmost importance.  With this in mind we will continue to not have an official weigh day, but rather a possession and tagged by day. We will have tags available for you to pick up at the office.  You will have to have the weights of your pigs and the breeder’s names turned in by April 22nd. Also, if you are getting your pigs from outside of Montana, make sure that you have the correct paperwork to import those pigs. There are several sales forthcoming so check the newsletter if you are struggling to find project animals.

Market lamb weigh-in will be April 29th from 5 to 6 pm at the Fairgrounds. 

Graduating seniors should be looking for and working on scholarship applications.  The Montana 4-H Scholarships and the Crazy Mountain Stockgrowers need to be completed by April.  Others such as the NILE are due sooner. 

Good luck to the Big Timber FFA Chapter as they head to the State FFA Contest in March.  Our FFA Advisors are doing a fantastic job of getting their teams prepared and I am sure that all those members who will be representing our community at this event will do an outstanding job.

National Volunteer Week is April 17-23. This week is a great time to recognize all of those who are volunteers for our great 4-H program. It is also a great time for our members to do some great community service projects that will help our community be a better place for all of those who live here.

As always, if you have any thoughts or concerns for the year, please contact the Extension Office. We wish all of you good luck with this upcoming calving and lambing season.  Be safe when you are out there and hope for nice weather for all the new-born animals.

Swine members must pick up ear tags for their pigs at the Extension Office. (Some local breeders may already have them tagged—it’s up to you to make sure your animal has the right tag).  You must call the Extension Office with the tag number of your animal, the weight, the date is was weighed, the breed and the breeder name. You must also email or bring in a photo of the animal for identification and it must show the number of the tag in it’s ear.  This information is due by April 22.  If we do not have the information by 5 pm that day, you will NOT be able to show your pig at the Fair. Let us know if you have any questions.


Lamb & goat tagging will be held on Friday, April 29 from 5-6 pm at the Fairgrounds Scale. All market sheep must attend this weigh-in to be able to participate in the Fair.

Any club or organization that wants to be considered as a ‘Re-Sale Recipient’ at the 2022 Sweet Grass County Fair Auction on Friday, July 29 will be required to attend the 4-H Council meeting scheduled for April 6, 2022. All recipients must present their requests to the Council for a decision if the requirements are met. The criteria for being a recipient is: Must be 4-H or FFA related, benefit the participants in 4-H or FFA and orally present a proposal at the April 4-H Council meeting.


The April 4-H Council Meeting will be on Wednesday,  April 6th at 7 pm at the Extension Office.  We appreciate having representation from every club.  Hope to see you there!
Members are welcome too!

Fair Book Cover Contest

Express your Creativity by participating in the

2022 Sweet Grass County 4-H FAIR BOOK COVER CONTEST!!!


The Cover MUST include the following in some form:

2022 Sweet Grass County Fair,   July 25-29, 2022,   4-H,   FFA

Entries can be computer generated or drawn by hand. Contest is limited to 4-H or FFA members who are 18 and under. Entries must be mailed or hand delivered to the Sweet Grass County Extension Office at PO Box 640 or 515 Hooper Street.

Entries are due by 5 pm on Friday, April 29, 2022.

Prizes will be awarded, sponsored by Denzel Schmidt and the 4-H Council.

1st:  $20.00    2nd:  $10.00       3rd:   $5.00


Long’s Livestock Show Pig Sale. March 17 online at SC Online Sales at  Call 406-380-0878.

Deaton Show Pig Sale. March 20 online at SC Online Sales at Questions? Call 406-461-9317.

Jordie’s Show Pigs live auction at 321 Cattle Coulee Drive in Roy, MT on March 20, 2022. Questions? Call 406-350-0595.

Braaten Show Pigs Sale. March 24 online at SC Online Sales at Questions? Call 406-439-8873.

Park City Show Pigs sale. March 26 online at Montana Cattle ConneXion at Contact Mike Baker at 406-860-7718 to come look at the pigs.

CJs Show Pigs live auction at Big Horn County Fairgrounds on March 27. Preview at noon, sale at 1:00 pm.

Montana Prime Pick Show Lamb sale. April 2, 2022, online. For more information or to schedule a barn visit contact Trish Hays at 406-671-7493. Exciting new AI Sires! You may also visit the Hays Show Lambs website at

Drange Meat Goats sale. April 16. More information to come. Contact Jodie Drange at 406-855-3767.

Big Sky Show Pigs. Sale by Private Treaty. Call 406-769-2121.

Crissy Hopf. Sale by Private Treaty. Call 406-939-1459.

Grunzie Family Show Pigs. Private Treaty by appointment starting March 15. Chinook, MT. Call 406-262-3827.

Rafter H Show Pigs. Private Treaty by appointment on March 26 and 27. Questions? Nicole at 406-853-3587 or Brett at 406-853-6506.


“With the average age of farmers and ranchers being nearly 60 years old, supporting the next generation is vital to Montana’s livelihood,” said MDA Director Mike Foster. “The Junior Ag Loan Program plays a key role in connecting young people who are passionate about pursuing projects in agriculture with the financing they need to get started.”

Montana youth ages 21 and under may be eligible for up to $8,500 in loan financing through the Montana Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Junior Agriculture Loan Program.

The Montana Junior Agriculture Loan Program which was developed to assist rural youth in developing or expanding agribusiness projects. The benefits often far exceed the actual loan value for program participants. Many young men and women have utilized the program as a means for establishing financing experience and advancing their project’s monetary value.

Projects can involve crop and livestock production, custom farming, marketing and distribution, processing, and other financially feasible activities. Up to 90 percent of projects can be financed through the program with repayment term up to five years. Additional information and applications are available on the Montana Department of Agricultural website at

April 17-23, 2022, is National Volunteer Week. National Volunteer Week encourages people to be engaged in their community. Volunteers are the heart of 4-H, and the MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development program salutes its volunteers during National Volunteer Week. Countywide, 204 volunteers support nearly 500 4-H participants.

What can you do to volunteer somewhere in your community during this week?

Are you taking the wildlife project or just like animals? Visit the Montana Trappers Association or for information about the 2022 Youth Trapper Camp. It is scheduled for June 10-12, 2022, at the Kiwanis Camp at Beaver Creek Park south of Havre. The camp teaches ethical trapping methods, trapping rules and regulation, trap setting and fur handling. Camp is limited; some scholarships are available. Applications are accepted on a first come, first accepted basis by May 15.

The U.S. Targhee Sheep Association is again offering a three free registered Targhee Starter Flock to be awarded to a deserving youth at the 2022 USTSA National Show and Sale, held July 18-20, 2022, in Big Timber, MT. The winner must be present to receive the flock and will be awarded one (1) ewe lamb, one (1) yearling ewe, and one (1) brood ewe donated by members of the USTSA. Each animal will be a USTSA registered animal, and at least QR in Scrapie Codon 171 genotype. The winner will also receive a $150 credit for use toward purchase of additional animals at the 2022 national sale.

Applications, due April 1, 2022, are now available to at US Targhee Sheep Association at Any person ages 9-17, as of January 1, 2022, and whose immediate family does not raise Targhee sheep may apply. Applicants should possess a keen interest in the U.S. sheep industry, commitment to raising Targhee sheep over time, and a firm belief in the abilities of the breed. Applicants must demonstrate proof of care, facilities, and transportation. Aside from receiving the flock of sheep, the winning youth, will be paired with a Targhee breeder living near them who will act as a mentor. Questions can be directed to Mardy Dallas-Rutledge at 702-292-5715 or emailed to [email protected].


The Montana Farm Bureau has many scholarships that are awarded to Montana youth and Yellowstone County youth. Information and requirements for each scholarship and the application can be found on the Montana Farm Bureau website at Application deadline is April 1, 2022.


Montana Rec Lab will be held March 18-20 in Hobsen, MT. This event provides an opportunity for youth and adults to enhance their leadership, communication and team building skills in an action packed and interactive setting. Rec Lab programming is designed to provide participants with tips and tricks for being a better club, camp, and community leader. This is an ideal event for younger senior members to attend a state event for the first time and begin to form relationships with 4-H peers form across the state, broadening their own skills and widening their network. This event is for 4-H members age 13+ as of October 1, 2021 who are interested in more leadership opportunities at the county and state level. register, sign into ZSuite and select the “Events” tab in your Dashboard. Click on the red Register Now button under the Rec Lab heading. Questions? Call the Extension Office.

The Chase Hawks Memorial Association has applications available for the 2021 Frank Chesarek Memorial Scholarship Award. Three scholarships will be awarded, one for $2,500, one for $1,500 and one for $1,000. Applicants must be pursuing a degree from an accredited institute of higher education or a certification from an accredited trade or vocational institution and live within 150 miles of Billings, Mt. Scholarships are open to both recent high school graduates and those currently enrolled in a high education institution. Applications are due by April 1, 2022.

For more information you can call the Chase Hawks Memorial Association office at 406-248-9295 or email [email protected]. Applications can be found on the Chase Hawks website,

Sweet Grass County 4-H

Demonstration Day

Tuesday, March 24th, 2022  

Extension Office   ~   6 pm


If you are interested in participating in this county wide event, please fill out this form and return to:

Sweet Grass County Extension Office
PO Box 640     515 Hooper
Big Timber, MT 59011

You may also register by calling the office at 932-5146.

Registration Deadline is Friday, March 18, 2022.




Name:__________________________________ Phone: __________________________________


Club:__________________________________    Years in 4-H: __________


Date of Birth: __________________           Age: ____________            4-H Age: _____________


Category: (circle one) Demonstration or   Speech/Illustrated Talk


Title: ________________________________________


Subject: ______________________________________


Approximate Length: __________________________


Special Equipment Needed: ____________________________________________________________________


Parent Signature: ______________________________________________________________________________




Communications Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 25th, 2021 at 6pm at the Extension Office. Members of all age levels are encouraged to participate. Members who are 13 years old and over can represent Sweet Grass County at
4-H Congress this summer.


Top Demonstration receives $75.00 from 4-H Council and a trophy and $25.00 sponsored by SC Electric & Irrigation.
2nd & 3rd place demonstrations will receive $50 and $25 from the Council.

Top Speech/Illustrated Talk receives $75.00 from 4-H Council and a trophy and $25.00 sponsored by Big Timber Lions Club.
2nd & 3rd place speeches will receive $50 and $25 from the 4-H Council.

PLEASE thank the sponsors of these great awards!!!


When designing and presenting your demonstrations this year, use the following tips to make your best better!

  • Select a topic that you know well and find interesting.
  • Develop one main idea or topic to share.
  • Use an outline to help you organize the idea or topic into three to seven points or steps that can be explained and/or shown.
  • Secure the material and the equipment needed and organize it to avoid clutter.
  • Dress appropriately for the activity being demonstrated.
  • Check your materials and equipment before you give the demonstration. Make words on posters large enough for all to read.
  • Use a catchy introduction that will get the attention of the audience.
  • Take your time and speak clearly, looking at your audience.
  • Show how each step is done so everyone can see.
  • Keep your materials orderly, and when you are finished with something, place it out of the way.
  • Practice the demonstration with family or friends who will give suggestions for improvement.
  • Smile and enjoy yourself, but avoid chewing gum, placing your hands in your pockets, or “fiddling” with equipment.
  • Review your points or steps at the end, ask for questions, and thank the audience.
  • Check with your County 4-H Extension Agent for county specific guidelines and dates

To learn more about how to create each type of demonstration visit the Montana 4-H's Communications webpage or



Communications Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 24th, 2022 at 6pm at the Extension Office. Members of all age levels are encouraged to participate. Members who are 13 years old and over can represent Sweet Grass County at
4-H Congress this summer.


Top Demonstration receives $75.00 from 4-H Council and a trophy and $25.00 sponsored by SC Electric & Irrigation.
2nd & 3rd place demonstrations will receive $50 and $25 from the Council.

Top Speech/Illustrated Talk receives $75.00 from 4-H Council and a trophy and $25.00 sponsored by Big Timber Lions Club.
2nd & 3rd place speeches will receive $50 and $25 from the Council.

PLEASE thank the sponsors of these great awards!!!

Date of birth:
Current address:
ZIP Code:
No. of Years in 4-H?
Signature of applicant
Please complete the following questions and attach to the application form:
1.What were the most valuable 4-H activities or projects to you and why?
2.What community service activities were you involved in during your 4-H career?
3.What are your educational and career goals?
4.What were your most memorable 4-H memories or experiences?
Application must be returned to the Sweet Grass County Extension Office by August 31st, 2022
4-H Scholarship Requirements:
1.Must be enrolled for at least 6 consecutive years including your senior year in high school.
2.Must be a member of the Sweet Grass County 4-H Program during your senior year of HighSchool.
3. Must turn in a COMPLETED record book by September 30th before award will be issued, if possible please include the last 6 years of your record book when submitting for this application.
4.An attached letter from the County Extension Office verifying the number of years in the 4-Hprogram.
5.Open to Current High School Seniors Only.
6.Cash award of $250

Call the Extension Office for a copy of the Scholarship application.

Present: Cindy Selensky, Jennifer Breck, Austin Standley, Nate Ruth, and Coulter Rein.

Guests: Commissioner Moody, Buzz Finn, Joan Hanson, Ronda Johnston, John and Mardi Smith, Raymond from the Chamber of Commerce, Kandi Schuman, and Marc King.

Nate called the meeting to order at 4:03 pm. Austin moved to accept the minutes as presented. Cindy seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Buzz handed out his caretaker’s report. Cindy asked Buzz about the propane usage. It was discussed and thought to be about normal.

Cindy gave a Treasurer’s report. There is 57.4% of the budget remaining for the year. The dump trailer cost $15, 785.00 and is coming out of the Fair Equipment line item in the budget.

JS Rodeo contract was discussed. The addendum is still not completed, but Commissioner Moody and County Attorney Dringman are working on it. John said that there is no way that they can be completely cleared out by noon on Thursday. Nate said that he felt the livestock being gone by noon and equipment out was the priority. The language in the addendum said that all JS Rodeo equipment, supplies and livestock must be removed by noon on Thursday. John said that he felt that when he read the minutes of the past meeting it was a different story, he thought they were saying that the Fair Board did not want the rodeo. John said that he would be willing to rent more days if that was what they needed to do. John said that last year was not as bad as the first year in terms of getting things cleared out. Nate again said that it was his feeling that the livestock and equipment needed to be out by noon. Mardi said that it is impossible to get all the livestock, supplies and equipment out by noon. Mardi said that because they are only doing six rodeos this year, they are losing forty percent of their income and that many businesses in town are upset because they too are losing forty percent of their income. JS Rodeo will start their rodeos on August 3rd and will run for six consecutive weeks. Commissioner Moody said that JS Rodeo should do or provide a report on the lost income to the community to show the Board. Mardi said that they have been advised to call a public forum to discuss the loss of income to the businesses of Sweet Grass County. John and Mardi said that Fair Week really messed them up last year because people thought they had cancelled the rodeo and it took two weeks after the Fair to get people to come back to the rodeos. Austin Standley asked why there was so much confusion over the dates. Mardi said that they need ten weeks to be a series which allows for better corporate sponsorships. John said that he can have the livestock out by noon. Austin agreed that the livestock out by noon and equipment at least moved to the back by noon was acceptable. John and Mardi said that they need the Monday and Tuesday prior to their first rodeo to get set up next year. Commissioner Moody said that there must be a time set for the garbage to be removed by in the addendum. The Board prioritized the clean up after the rodeos to be livestock out by noon, supplies and equipment removed next and garbage picked up. Mardi asked about the status of the gates that John and she had talked to the Board about this past fall. Nate said that he and the Board were working on them and that he was going to work on the gates by the timed event stripping chute this spring. Mardi said that chain latches for the sorting pens would help speed things up, rather than wrapping them around the posts. Mardi then told the Board that she had recorded the meeting for the Pioneer.

Marc reported that Matt Kleinsasser had volunteered to donate a water bottle fill station for the Pavilion. Austin moved to accept Matt’s donation of a water bottle fill station for the Pavilion. Cindy seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Joan Hanson said that she would like to have a new Abby Hanson Memorial Sign put on the small animal barn, as the old one had faded and is beyond repair. Ronda Johnston said that she would encourage the Board to purchase and install the sign. Kandi said that she would donate the cost of the sign. Austin moved to install the sign. Cindy seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Joan asked the Board what the plan was for trees behind the grandstands. She said that as a member of the Tree Board they would be willing to help the Fair Board with trees in this location. Nate said that it was a water issue as there currently is not a good way to make sure the trees get watered.

Joan asked if the siding project for the old exhibit barn was still in the budget and moving forward. Nate said that it was.

Austin moved to leave the slate of officers the same as it was for the past year, President Nate Ruth, Vice President Austin Standley and Treasurer Cindy Selensky. Cindy seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Nate said that the rodeo side trees, and siding project should be on the agenda for the next meeting on April 7th at 4:00 pm.

Raymond said that he wanted to thank the Board for discussing the 4th of July fireworks proposal. He further reported that the Chamber was having their annual banquet on March 9th at 6:00 pm, and they are looking for nominations for the Ag Person of the Year Award and for Volunteer of the Year. He further reported that they are designing a new web site that will have links to all of the events.

There were three contracts for rental of the Ag Pavilion. Austin moved to accept the contracts. Cindy seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 5:32 pm.


1:  Happy Birthday Haley Anderson
3:  Livestock Juding
5:  Happy Birthday Greeley Kleinsasser & Stetson Seemann
9:  Happy Birthday Rylie Tinsley
9:  Livestock Judging
11:  Happy Birthday Tresten Rein
13:  Happy Birthday Jaxon Thomas
16:  NO Livestock Juding
18:  Demonstration Day sign-up due
20:  Happy Birthday Mollie Ruth
22:  Happy Birthday Miles Newlan & Taw Seemann
23:  Livestock Juding
24:  Demonstration Day
25:  Happy Birthday Leah Selensky
30:  Happy Birthday David Paul Hathaway
30:  Livestock Judging