Welcome to Big Stone County
Big Stone County partners with Extension to deliver practical education and research you can use at home, at work and in your community. Big Stone County is located on the western edge of the state. The area is primarily an agricultural community but it also has an abundance of great fishing and hunting.
4-H Youth Development is a hands-on learning program for Minnesota youth. We offer online, small group and independent learning experiences for youth of all ages. In 4-H, youth choose the topics they find interesting and caring adults support their learning and leadership. From agronomy to space exploration and creative arts to outdoor adventures, 4-H has just the right learning experience for young people.
There are many ways to participate in 4-H!
Community clubs (grades K-12)
- Learn new skills by working on projects together.
- Take part in activities like tours, bowling and holiday parties.
Work and learn the importance of community service.
Contact one of these adult leaders to join a club listed below.
- Karen Fitzner - 320-325-5531
- Rachael Kellen - 320-305-4142
- Holli Kellen - 320-305-1513
- Christy Erickson - 320-265-6207
- Tina Syverson - 320-905-1915
- Paulette Jibben - 320-815-5573
- Kristin Haggerty - 605-695-0442
- Cara Greger - 320-808-4897
- Missy McMahon - 931-802-3210
- Jaime Conrad - 218-443-0886
- Carrie Olson - 320-287-1542
Odessa Jolly Workers
- Kerry Klepel - 320-305-0927
- Doug Eastman - 320-273-2395
- Tessa and Dominic Rolfsmeier - 320-305-4275
Cloverbuds (Grades K-2) and After School Adventures (Grades 3-5)
Cloverbuds and After School Adventures are fun, hands-on educational programs specially designed for youth in grades K-5. These afterschool programs are available at CGB School, Ortonville School and Big Stone City School.
- Explore monthly topics
- Make crafts
- Learn about and have healthy snacks
- Play games
Project clubs were created to help youth learn and focus on a certain project area of their interest.
- Aquatic Robotics / Aquatic Invasive Species Education
- Dairy Club
- Dog Club
- Horse Club
- LEGO Robotics Club
- Shooting Sports Club
For more information on any of these clubs, contact the Big Stone County Extension office.
Big Stone County 2020 Farm Family of the Year is Jackie and Al Webster. They were honored with a plaque and certificate. The Big Stone County Extension Committee is working on choosing the 2021 Farm Family of the Year.
Find the latest on Extension agricultural research and news you can use on your farm from local experts.
Statewide news and blogs
- Agricultural Business Management News - Business and financial resources for farmers.
- Beef News - Beef industry featured events, farm safety and animal health.
- Dairy News - Dairy industry featured events, farm safety and animal health.
- Fruit and Vegetable News - Local production and marketing of fruit and vegetable crops in Minnesota.
- Minnesota Crop News - Emerging issues affecting Minnesota row crops and forages.
Big Stone County is always looking for volunteers willing to become a University of Minnesota Master Gardener. These volunteers assist our community with questions and topics about gardening. Please consider becoming a Master Gardener volunteer in Big Stone County.
Health and nutrition
Big Stone County is committed to our community and helping in any way possible during this pandemic. Below you'll find information about food resources during COVID-19.
To apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formally known as Food Stamps or Food Assistance), visit the Big Stone County Family Services website.
To apply for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), contact Countryside Public Health office to schedule an appointment, 320-839-6135 or 1-800-657-3291.
Big Stone Area Emergency Food Shelf
Visit the Big Stone Area Food Shelf website for location and hours.
Paw Pantry is available at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley School. Contact the CGB School at 320-325-5224 for more information.
Trojan Takeout is available at the Ortonville School. Contact the Ortonville School at 320-839-6181 for more information.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) is the educational component of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a program that offers nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families.
To host a SNAP-Ed class or to find out more information, please contact a Southwest SNAP-Ed educator.
Extension's Center for Community Vitality engages Minnesotans to strengthen the social, civic, economic and technological capacity of their communities. We help create vibrant communities and enhance skills and knowledge in economics, leadership and civic engagement, and tourism.
Check our community research page for reports on county and community-focused topics relating to local economics, retaining businesses, growing retail markets, developing tourism, and more.
Local programs can be offered in collaboration with local community organizations and government agencies. Current programs include: Minnesota Agricultural and Rural Leadership (MARL)
Contact an educator in your area for consultation, guidance and conversation about your community.
Minnesota is a great place to explore, understand and conserve the natural landscape. Extension education, volunteer and community science programs encourage people to become stewards of Minnesota’s public and private lands.
Extension's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) connect Greater Minnesota communities and University of Minnesota knowledge and resources to support local sustainability projects. Working in partnership, RSDP supports community-driven projects in four focus areas: agriculture and food systems, clean energy, natural resources and resilient communities. Projects are supported by boards made up of local community members and University faculty and staff. Learn more about RSDP’s recent work in your county and neighboring communities, and how to submit a project idea.
Join us at an event in your community.
Find opportunities to learn about the natural environment, how to care for your forest lands, and how you and your family can get out and explore nature around the state and in your own backyard.
Find information on community-focused news.
Find out how to take care of your trees and enjoy Minnesota's beautiful woodlands.
From preserving our wetlands to combating invasive species, read about protecting and enjoying nature.
Learn more about community-driven sustainability projects happening across Minnesota.
Big Stone County Extension
U of M Extension, Big Stone County
11 SE 2nd Street
Ortonville, MN 56278
(lower level of the Big Stone County Sheriff's Department)
Phone: (320) 839-6380
Fax: (320) 839-6384
Office hours: Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Extension brings Minnesotans together to build a better future through University science-based knowledge, expertise and training. Learn more about Extension by visiting our about page and by browsing this website.