MSU Extension Butte-Silver Bow, a service of Montana State University, improves the lives of Montana citizens by providing unbiased research-based education and information that integrates learning, discovery and engagement to strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of individuals, families, and communities.  The extension office integrates these benefits through a variety of avenues, such as . . .

Research.  Citizens of our community regularly contact the Butte-Silver Bow County Extension office with questions ranging from nutritional guidance to horticulture practices to pest control and insect or plant identification.  Each question is thoughtfully answered based upon scientific research.  In addition to direct contact with a knowledgeable county extension agent, a MontGuide is often provided for the specific subject matter.  A MontGuide is a publication provided my Montana State University and is designed to provide information specifically for Montanans. 

SNAP Ed.  In addition to answering single questions with direct replies and MontGuides, the extension office also conducts series of more thorough educational courses.  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP Ed), for example, teaches people how to improve their lives through healthy eating, food safety and physical activity.  This particular series of classes also integrates economics, helping people to improve their lives not just physically, but financially as well.

Master Gardener.  A much sought after series of classes is the Master Gardener course.  It is an in depth investigation of horticulture.  Beginning with the basic elements and working through to the more detailed aspects of gardening and land management.  This course equips people to be purposefully engaged in their environment; implementing and utilizing natural resources for the benefit of their households.  Participants then contribute to our community by providing volunteer services.  Look for level one class to begin in the spring and level two in the autumn.  Request to be added to the waiting list by e-mailing silverbow@montana.edu

Community and School Gardens.  MSU Extension Butte-Silver Bow does not simply teach people to garden, it also puts it into practice through the Park Street Community Garden and school gardens.  Gardening plots are available for rent to the population.  This allows people to be engaged in their environment and grow their own produce, as well as build community relationships by care taking for a shared space. 

Evening Market.  Another great way of building community relationships is through the Silver Bow Evening Market.  Entertainment creates a delightful social atmosphere for the community to enjoy on evenings during the summer.  Simultaneously, the market is a wonderful venue for economic development; giving people a place to conduct business or purchase local goods.  The 2016 season will be every Thursday evening, June 23rd through September 29th, from 6pm to 9pm at the Original Mine.  Occasionally in conjunction with Original Movies (June 30, August 4, 18 and September 8) and Shakespeare in the Park (September 1).  Vendors pay $5 to set up per evening.  Portion of proceeds will go to Butte Rescue Mission.

County Fair.  The Butte-Silver Bow County Fair is another socio-economic function benefiting the community as a whole.  But also offering a route for youth development through 4-H.  4-H Butte-Silver Bow is a program that runs year round, with final presentations of projects being displayed at the county fair.  The fair is held the first week in August.

Silver Bow 4-H is in the process of making the best better.  Youth pledge their heads to clearer thinking, hearts to greater loyalty, hands to larger service and health to better living for their club, community and country.  As early as six years of age, children delve into projects of interest from sewing and leather work to raising rabbits and steers.  This is a wonderful organization with statistics to substantiate its effectiveness.  Youth in 4-H excel. 

MSU Extension Butte-Silver Bow orchestrates many more programs for the public.  For instance, you could receive pesticide applicator training in order to become a certified pesticide applicator.  Get your soil tested to see what is needed for optimal gardening.  Learn how to trim trees, for free, and give back to your community by participating in Terrific Tree Trimming Tuesdays. 

Urban Forestry.  Friends of the Urban Forest Board is ever improving Butte, MT with the support of MSU Extension Butte-Silver Bow.  Volunteers strive for more green by inventorying and planting trees.  Weighing variables to find the most suitable locations this board has gained ground to the extent of being awarded Tree City of the Year in 2015 and 2016. 

In short, MSU Extension Butte-Silver Bow offers many services to its community.  Each program is focused on fulfilling the Montana State University Extension’s mission statement.  To improve the lives of Montana citizens by providing unbiased research-based education and information that integrates learning, discovery and engagement to strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of individuals, families, and communities.