NILE Merit Heifer Application Open Online

by Andy Schwab

An incredible opportunity for today’s youth to get involved in the cattle industry is the NILE Merit Heifer Program. Applications are now being accepted for the 2024-2025 year.

The NILE Merit Heifer program is a live animal scholarship. Recipients receive a heifer calf to help them get a start in the beef cattle business and gain knowledge about the beef industry. During the program, participants are responsible for caretaking, record keeping, breeding, and bringing the heifer back to the NILE Stock Show as a bred heifer to compete for honors such as top showman, top heifer, and top herdsman.

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.

This program is possible due to the generous support of our donors, and we are truly grateful for the cattle producers who have supported the program since its inception.

The NILE Merit Heifer Program is seeking producers interested in donating a heifer calf for the upcoming year. If you are interested, please contact Shelby at (406) 256-2499.

Applications and a link to the YouTube video must be submitted via email to shelby@thenile.org no later than June 30, 2024. No hard copies will be accepted. The 2025 recipients will be announced in late summer of 2024. Applications are available online here.

Application Requirements: 

  • Complete application 
  • Six character references (three to contact; three letters of reference)
  • 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 shelby@thenile.org or call the NILE Office at (406) 256-2499.

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NILE – 2024

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