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

January 6 - 9:00 AM - Golden Triangle Cropping Seminar - Pondera Shooting Sports Complex

The 2021 edition of the Golden Triangle Cropping Seminar will feature grasshopper control, antagonistic effects of herbicides, management of herbicide resistant weeds, and farm and ranch safety. Justin Vetch, the new superintendent of WTARC will also be joining us in Conrad. Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP to pondera@montana.edu or 406-271-4054. If not able to join us in person, a recorded webinar will be available. 

January 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28 - Montana's Next Generation Conference

Next Gen is going virtual for 2021, but that won't stop us from providing the same great content you've come to expect! Topics will include financial recordkeeping, generating more profit from your enterprise, crop and livestock marketing, cattle nutrition, communication in your family business, and legal and tax tips.  For more information or to register check out mtnextgen.com.

January 13, 14 - Montana and Wyoming Malt Barley and Sugar Beet Symposium

You don't have to travel to Billings this year to get some top notch information on malt barley! These webinars will be full of great topics to help you in your barley production. Contact Callie Cooley at the MSU Extension Yellowstone County office at 406-258-2828 or callie.cooley@montana.edu for more information. 

January 21, 25, February 4, 11, 18, 25 - 6:00 - Master Farmer - Conrad Moose Lodge

Master Farmer is back for another 6 week session! Classes will be offered both virtually and in person. Topics for the 2021 session include grasshopper control in cropland, small grain production, pulse and oilseed production, crop marketing, and negotiation training. Cost for the class will be $75 and covers meals and materials for the duration of the class. Those not attending in person will have a reduced cost of $15. Contact adriane.good@montan.edu or 406-271-4054 to register or for questions.