Swift Dam


Pondera County is located in the heart of the Golden Triangle, famous for quality wheat and barley production. The county contains 1625 square miles and is very rural with approximately 6400 residents in the communities of Conrad, Valier, Dupuyer, Brady, and Heart Butte. The elevation varies from 3300' on the eastern plains to 8500' at the Continental Divide. Major watersheds include the Marias and Teton River drainages. Lake Frances near  Valier is fed from Swift Reservoir and is a major supplier for irrigation and household water. Also, the Tiber water system has approximately 450 miles of water lines to serve 270 households, utilizing water impounded at Lake Elwell on the Marias River.

There are approximately 950,000 acres in farms in Pondera County, comprised of pasture land, dry land, and irrigated. Crops grown in the county include wheat, barley, pulses, oilseeds, and hay. Beef cattle and sheep are also important agricultural products raised in the county. 
Health facilities and retirement homes also are important economic contributors in Pondera County. The Pondera Medical Center is very modern and serves a multi-county area with an economic impact of over $12 million.
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Upcoming Events

December 6, 2018 –Holiday Baking

The holiday season is here!  Learn tips and tricks to keep foods safe, nutritious and easy to prepare. We will take a look at easy substitutions and sample several modified recipes. Please RSVP by calling 271-4054.


December 11, 2018-CARC Research Roundup.

The Central Agricultural Research Center researchers will spend the day presenting data and research results on Tuesday, December 11th. This year's theme is Pulses and Oilseed Crops: Their Place in Central Montana. The event starts 9:00 at the Central Feed Grilling Company in Lewistown.


January 10, 2019–Golden Triangle Cropping Seminar

Join us at 8:30 at the Shooting Sports Complex in Conrad for the annual cropping seminar. Topics discussed will include herbicide resistance, crop marketing, paraquat safety, and crop rotations. Pesticide points will be available and lunch and snacks will be provided. Please register for lunch by calling 271-4054 or emailing adriane.good@montana.edu by January 4.


January 12, 2019  -Calvin’ Fever

This ladies day out held at the Shelby Lutheran Church will cover how to deal with calving disasters, bull selection to prevent calving disasters, colostrum, tubing fresh calves, and freezer meals. The workshop will start at 10, with the freezer meal    portion starting at 3 and wrapping up at 5. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Costs will be $10 for the calving topics and $15 for the freezer meals payable to Pondera County Extension. Please register by January 4 by calling 271-4054 or clicking here. 4-H and FFA members are also encouraged to come!


January 14-16, 2019Crop and Pest Management School.

This annual workshop in Bozeman will focus on small grain pest and crop management. The workshop will include a high-quality group of speakers including industry, government, and academic specialists providing current, relevant information about a variety of cropping topics. Call the office for more information.


January 16, 2019 –Cooking for 1-2 People

Once all the kids leave home, you may have some trouble learning how to cook without the crowd. Learn some handy tips and tricks to prepare meals for 1-2 people. There will be fabulous door prizes, too! Please RSVP by calling 271-4054.


January  24– February 28, 2019 - Master Farmer

Are you starting the process of taking over the farm from your parents and worried something will go wrong while they’re watching? Are you suspicious that all those salesmen are trying to sell you things you don’t need? Or do you just want to improve your agronomy skills prior to the 2019 cropping season? Join this 6 part course to brush up on your knowledge of soil fertility, IPM, weed ID, crop scouting, diversification, marketing options, and helpful technology and tools. Classes will start at 6 p.m. every Thursday at the Moose Lodge in Conrad. The entire   program costs $50 to attend, which includes supper every week. Pesticide points will be available at some of the classes. Sign up by January 14 by calling the office at 271-4054 or clicking  here. Checks can be made out to Pondera County Extension.


January 25-26, 2019 –Next Generation Conference

The annual Next Generation Conference is happening once again in Shelby! We have a great slate of speakers lined up to talk about a variety of topics including trade, livestock production and marketing, crop production and marketing, ag policy, and diversification options. It’s a conference that has something for everybody!  Registration will open in December, check out mtnextgen.com or call the office to get a registration form .


February 7, 2019 - Beginning Knife Sharpening

A dull knife in the kitchen may lead to accidental injury. Take this class and learn how to put an edge on your knives and hone other skills to keep that edge with food prep. Sharp knives also make food prep easy and shorten the amount of time it takes to prepare a meal. There will be fabulous door prizes and a drawing for knives and cutting boards!


February 19, 2019 –Herbicide Resistance Workshop.

Whether we like it or not, weeds becoming resistant to our most common herbicides. Join us at the Pondera Shooting Sports Complex  at 10 to hear from speakers on current status of herbicide  resistance, industry perspectives, management of herbicide resistant weeds and  how to improve herbicide efficacy. Pesticide points will be available and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to 271-4054 or adriane.good@montana.edu.


February 25 –April 22, 2019 - Master Gardener Level 1

When the snow starts to melt, it’s a perfect time to start learning about how to grow a beautiful garden! We will be offering the 9 week Master Gardener Level 1 course in Conrad as we start to thaw out. Call the office at 271-4054 if you are interested in signing up!