Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Moon over snow-covered fields and badlands, Prairie County, Montana

Prairie County

Most of Prairie County is drained by the Yellowstone River, which flows through the center of the county in a northeasterly direction, and its tributaries. Located in Eastern Montana, the county has an area of 1,737 square miles and a population of 1,179. Approximately half the land in Prairie County is publicly owned and half privately owned, with ownership distributed in a checkerboard pattern throughout most of the county.

Crow, Cheyenne, and Sioux Tribes, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Northern Pacific Railroad, ranching, and homesteading have all played important roles in Prairie County history. During the drought in the 1930s many of the homesteaders gave up their land which was reclaimed by the U.S. Government and is now managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Today, Prairie County’s predominant industry is agriculture with a very small area of petroleum production in the far east. Land use is divided between range or pasture land (1,006,721 acres) and crop land (168,589 acres). The Buffalo Rapids Irrigation Project provides irrigation water for the production of sugar beets, alfalfa, and corn. The NRCS office, located in Terry, 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 Prairie County Landowners​

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.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit

Additional Information