shooting star







Our Mission

MSU Extension is a statewide educational outreach network that applies unbiased, research-based university resources to practical needs identified by the people of Montana in their home communities.

The MSU Extension Service is an educational resource which is dedicated to improving people's lives by providing research-based knowledge to strengthen the social, economic, and environmental well-being of families, communities and agricultural enterprises.

Upcoming Events Around the Area
Event Name Location and Time Description

Virtual Master Food Preserver

Online -Hybrid

May 7th through June 24th, 2021


11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Cost $50 - $135

"Are you a food preserver interested in sharing research-based, safe information with others? Have you wanted to dive deeper into the specifics of why we do what we do when canning our summer bounty? Join us for the Virtual Master Food Preserver class! This series is designed for those interested in teaching, answering community questions, or volunteering with research-based food preservation. After taking this course, Extension staff and volunteers will be able to:

  • present on topics and/or facilitate Extension food preservation classes
  • answer client questions and professionally and in accordance with research-based resources
  • increase their confidence in their food preservation skills and ability to find research-based resources

If you have questions or want more information be sure to reach out to Brianna Routh (, Alison Brennan ( Katrin Finch ( who will be instructors for the class

Register for Food Preserver Course here

National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Day 1

May 17th, 2021

1:00 PM Central Time

The Climate Crisis and Invasive Species

  • Presented by Carrie Brown-Lima, Director of the NY Invasive Species Research Institute

Invasive species and climate change are two of the most prominent forms of anthropogenic global change identified by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Invasive species have pronounced negative impacts on ecosystems and economies, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate change. But for most invasive species and invaded ecocsystems, the outcomes of this interaction remain unknown. This presentation will review the current state of knowledge about how climate change influences invasive species as well as describe the work of the Regional Invasive Species and Climate change networks that are bringing together researchers and practitioners to address this challenge.


Register for NAISMA webinar here

""Moo"ving and a Grazing"

June 10th, 2021

Schmitt Livestock Barn

2810 Lower Road, Denton, MT

2:00 PM

Judith Basin County Annual Range School


  • 2:00 PM - Craig French
    • A fourth generation family on the place, and instrumental to the entire enterprise. When Conni and Craig attended the Ranching for Profit school which covered cell grazing, and managing the soil, they returned enthusiasiclaly ready to implement what they learned.
  • 2:45 PM - Leo Barthelmess
    • A fourth generation family ranch that is a livestock operation raising cattle on private and leased properties. Additional crops include hay and native grass seed. Leo has been using virtual fence to control livestock for over a year.
  • 4:00 PM - Dave Hayden
    • The Hayden family ranch operates south of Baker. They have been using high density grazing and daily moves year around to implement the 5 soil health principles of maximizing soil cover, minimizing disturbance, maximizing diversity, maximizing living roots, and integrating livestock.
  • 4:45 PM - Kyle and Lindsay Schmitt Pasture Tour
    • Improving grazing inputs & animal performance with a 2 week grazing rotation on tame pasture from June - October.
  • 6:00 PM - Dinner
    • Dinner is Catered by Hill Top Catering

Pre-Register by May 30th, 2021

  • $15.00 Registration Fee
    • Includes Registration, Dinner, Snacks, and Drinks

Judith Basin Conservation District

121 Central Avenue

Stanford, MT

(406)566-2311 ext 107

View Range school Flyer here (PDF)

Montana Range Days 2021

View PDF


Beaver Head County

Dillion, MT

June 21 - 23, 2021


Local tours will include learning more about prescribed burns - recovery, reclamation considerations, and post fire weed issues. Another great tour opportunity is looking at prickly pear reduction projects and a forage Kochia seeding project. Cheatgrass is a big topic, and one of our tour topics is to learn about Cheatgrass treatment and control - expanding on learning about the use of fertilizer to improve prennial species competition with Cheatgrass. Our tours are focused on a Rancher's perspective and the opportunity to be able to share and learn for better production opportunities and to be strong steweards of the land we take care of.

Please click here to view Range Days website and to register

Urban Alerts

MontGuide Mondays

A new addition to the Judith Basin County Extension page! There is a MontGuide for just about everything AG or Human Resource related. If there is something that you are interested in learning about, feel free to give Hannah a call at the office (406)566-2277 ext 105 or send us a message on the Facebook page!

Current Weather Conditions in Judith Basin County

This website is aimed to provide you with resources and publications as well as up to date events and happenings around Judith Basin County. Please feel free to call the Extension Office for any questions or more information. 

Like us on Facebook Link

County Profile

Judith Basin County is located in central Montana in a fertile basin between the Highwood, Big Snowy, and Little Belt mountains.  The county population is 2,016 people.  The principal communities are Stanford (county seat located about 65 miles east of Great Falls), Hobson and Geyser.  Numerous other small communities make up the county.  Judith Basin County’s economy is based on agriculture.  The major components of this industry include livestock, small grains and forage production.  The county ranks 10th in Montana for beef cattle numbers, 10th in winter wheat production, 15th in barley production, 23rd for spring wheat production, 4th for alfalfa hay production, and 21st for other hay production.  Timber and mining enterprises take place on a small scale.  The MSU Central Ag Research Center is located in the county.  The Judith Basin 4-H programs consist of 90 youth members and 29 volunteer leaders in four organized clubs.  The county offers a variety of recreational opportunities, which include hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling and skiing.  A major ski area is about 45 minutes from Stanford.  The Judith Basin was the home of the legendary western artist Charlie Russell.  Many of his paintings were scenes captured by the artist between Lewistown and Great Falls.


The Judith Basin is nestled in the heart of the state known as the Last Best Place, the basin truly fits the classic Montana description of "high, wide and handsome." Island mountain ranges such as the Highwoods and the Snowies surround a sea of grass and wheat making it easy to enjoy the rich bounty of this land.

The legendary Western artist Charlie Russell learned the ways of the cowboy and mountain man here in the basin, and many of his most famous paintings were inspired by the landscape and drama that unfolded here as the West was settled. Highway 87 between Great Falls and Lewistown is known as the Charlie Russell Trail. Square Butte, Stanford, Utica and the Judith River country are all scenes captured in Russell’s art.

Stanford and nearby Utica have several museums of interest. Recreation opportunities abound in the nearby Lewis and Clark National Forest, Judith River Wildlife Management Area and Ackley Lake State Park. The Judith River Wildlife Management Area, at the edge of the Little Belt Mountains is a good place to view large elk herds in late fall and winter.  Raynesford is an agriculturally rich area. The homesteading boom from 1908 to 1915 and the extension of the Great Northern Railroad played an important role in the development of this area.  Moccasin also began as a homestead community. In 1908 the Montana State legislature created the Central Montana Agriculture Research Center, 3 miles east of Moccasin. The purpose of the center was to teach dry land farming techniques to the newly arrived homesteaders. Even after the homesteaders bust, the center went on to develop machinery and new crops, improving the area's wheat yields.  Hobson was named for an early-day rancher, S. S. Hobson. He owned the Campbell and Clendenan ranches and later became a state senator.  The Big Snowy Mountains lie south of this agricultural community. There are camping and hiking opportunities at Crystal Lake, 20 miles southeast of Hobson.  Many Finnish homesteaders settled in the Geyser area at the turn of the century. They had been coal miners in the Belt area but were lured to Geyser by free land offers. In earlier days, it was a stagecoach-stopping place on the trail from Great Falls to Lewistown. In 1920, Geyser became a rail line station, when the old town was moved to its existing site.

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.