2021-22 NILE Merit Heifer Program Applications Open

by Courtney Kibblewhite

BILLINGS, MT–The opportunity for kids started in the cattle industry is knocking, and loudly. Applications for the NILE Merit Heifer program are now available for the 2021-2022 year.

The NILE Merit Heifer program is a live animal scholarship, meaning the recipients are given a young, live, heifer calf. The objective is to 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 over the years,” says NILE General Manager Jennifer Boka. “We are truly grateful for them since the program’s inception.”

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, 2021 by 4 p.m.. The 2022 recipients will be announced in late August 2021. Applications available online.


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

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



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Kinsley wooten

I love cows and especially show cattle.i saw a heaifer named Monica she is one year old.

Brittany Wooten

My Kinsley loves showing cows.

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