Applications for the 2023 NILE Merit Heifer Program Close Soon

June 27, 2022

If you're looking for a way to get a start in the cattle industry, be sure to check out the NILE Merit Heifer Program! The program is a live animal scholarship, meaning the recipients are given a young, live, heifer calf. The objective is to help youth get a start in the beef cattle business and gain knowledge about the beef industry.

Program participants are chosen based on merit, future goals, and ability to care for the animal. 4-H or FFA members who are 12-16 years old may apply. Applicants are not limited to Montana residents.

During the program duration, participants are responsible for care-taking, record keeping, breeding, and bringing the heifer back one year later to the NILE Stock Show & Rodeo. The class of merit heifer recipients competes for best phenotype, top showman honors, best record book, best interview and overall top herdsman.

This program would not be possible without the generous support of our donors, and we are truly grateful for their support since the program's inception. If you're interested in becoming a donor, the NILE Merit Heifer Program is also seeking those interested in donating a heifer calf for the upcoming year.

Applications and a link to the YouTube video must be received no later than June 30, 2022 by 4 p.m. The 2023 recipients will be announced in late summer of 2022. Applications are available online here.

Application Requirements: 

  • complete application 
  • character references
  • written essay
  • 3-5 minute YouTube video (should include, but is not limited to):
  • an introduction
  • facility tour
  • current 4-H/FFA projects
  • goals and objectives for the Merit Heifer
  • voiced by the applicant

Example YouTube videos can be seen here.

For more information regarding the NILE Merit Heifer Program, please email Shelby at or call (406) 256-2499.

Source: NILE