Judith Basin County, population 1,940, is located in central Montana between the Highwood, Big Snowy, Judith and Little Belt mountain ranges. Legendary Western artist Charlie Russell was inspired by the landscape of the area, which is captured in his art. The county is comprised of private land, state land, Bureau of Land Management, and US Forest Service land. Stanford is the county seat.
Discovery of Yogo sapphires southwest of Utica, the homesteading boom, and the extension of the Great Northern Railroad all played important roles in the development of this area. The Central Montana Agriculture Research Center (CARC), located 3 miles east of Moccasin, was established in 1908 to teach dry land farming techniques to the newly arrived homesteaders and continues to serve specific needs of Montana agriculture today.
Judith Basin county was founded on agriculture, and this remains the primary economic driver today. There are 296,333 acres of cropland and 601,647 acres of grazing land. Crops grown in the county include winter wheat, spring wheat, barley, dry peas, alfalfa and grass hay. The NRCS office, located in Stanford, offers voluntary technical and financial assistance to private landowners interested in natural resource conservation based on a focused approach using long range planning with local input.
Current Financial Assistance Opportunities for Judith Basin County Landowners
- Improving Grazing Land Health and Ranch Viability - Upper Judith River Watershed Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
- Improving Grazing Land Health and Ranch Viability - Arrow Creek Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
- Judith Basin Soil Health Targeted Implementation Plan (TIP)
In addition to these local projects, producers may also apply for statewide programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, national Environmental Quality Incentives Program initiatives, and conservation easement programs. For more information on these and other programs, see State Programs and Initiatives on the NRCS Montana webpage.