For over 30 years, the NILE (Northern International Livestock Exposition) has awarded scholarships to deserving FFA and 4-H students who have been leaders in their respective programs, excelled in the classroom, participated in NILE events and are actively involved in their communities.

“Supporting youth in agriculture is a key component of the NILE Foundation’s mission,” says Leah Morgan Clark, General Manager of the NILE. “It is critical that we continue to provide financial assistance to the next generation of agriculture leaders so that they may pursue higher education and reach their personal and professional goals.”


Scholarships closed March 1, 2023 and will be awarded and announced in April 2023. Similar to previous years, the NILE Scholarship Committee will be awarding five levels of scholarships:
  • High School One Time Scholarship – Awarded to high school seniors that meet the qualifications listed in the guidelines.
  • Rolling Scholarship – The rolling scholarships will be offered to a select group of High School Seniors who will have the opportunity to renew the scholarship yearly, up to four years of their secondary education. Recipients of rolling scholarships will be chosen from the pool of applicants that are current seniors in High School.
  • Secondary One Time Scholarship – A one-time grant, for students already enrolled in College or a Vo-Tech school meeting the qualifications.
  • Shining Star: All qualified applicants are eligible. This scholarship is for an applicant that stands out in the crowd.
  • NILE Legacy Award – Offered to students that have been very active in various NILE events from the time they were young!
  • Needle In The Haystack – This scholarship will be randomly drawn for during the NILE Foundation’s Stetson and Stilettos in the Spring 2022. All scholarship applicants will be eligible – must be present to win.


Each year the NILE touches the lives of nearly 10,000 youth and provides over $55,000 in cash and live animal scholarships. Major highlights of NILE Youth Programs are the NILE Merit Heifer Program, 4th Grade Ag Education, Jr. Fed Livestock Show, Scholarship Program, and Internship Program. Live Animal scholarships are donations of heifers to kids in the Merit Heifer Program.
The NILE Foundation was established in 2009 as a supporting arm of the NILE organization, which is dedicated to the promotion of livestock, agriculture education, and respect for the western culture. It is funded through generous donations and the NILE Foundation’s annual fundraiser.

If you’re interested in contributing to the NILE Foundation, send a donation to P.O. Box 1981, Billings, MT 59103

Congratulations to these 2023 NILE Scholarship recipients!

Five one-time scholarships have been awarded to the following seniors in high school in the amount of $1,000:

Morgan Anderson

Morgan Anderson is the daughter of Craig & Melissa Anderson of Big Timber, Montana. She is currently a student at Sweet Grass County High School, where she will graduate in May. Morgan plans to attend Northwest College to study Animal Science with plans of completing her Bachelors & Masters degrees in Bovine Nutrition.

TJ Brown

Tyler Justin (TJ) Brown will be attending Northern Wyoming College – Sheridan were he plans to study Welding. In June, TJ will graduate from Stevensville High School – TJ is the son of Lance & Shelley Brown of Stevensville, Montana. TJ’s future plans include receiving a degree in Welding and return to the family farm. TJ was also a winner of a $500 Needle In The Haystack Scholarship drawing held at the NILE Jr Fed Sale of Champions in the fall of 2022. 

Morgan Friede

Morgan Friede is the daughter of Scott & Fay Friede of Chinook, Montana. After graduating from Chinook High School, she plans to attend Montana Tech in Butte to study Accounting. Morgan plans to work as an Agriculture based CPA and raise her own seedstock.

Tyeson Gravenhof

Tyeson Gravenhof plans to attend Northeastern Oklahoma A&M University in Miami, OK where he plans to study Animal Science and Agriculture Business. His future plans include becoming a Livestock Embryologist. Tyeson is the son of Stacey & Michelle Gravenhof of Roundup, MT.

Dillon Mai

Dillon Mai is a soon-to-be-graduate of Bonners Ferry High School. He is the son of Maureen Mai of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Dillon plans to attend Kansas State University to study Agriculture Economics with hopes of becoming an Agricultural Entrepreneur and returning to the family operation.

The 2023 Shining Star Award is a scholarship that will be given to an outstanding graduating high school senior for the one-time amount of $2,000:

Jaeda Paul

Jaeda Paul plans to attend college at South Dakota State University and study Human Biology where her future plans are to obtain her Chiropractic Degree and specialize in Human & Equine Chiropractics. Jaeda is a soon-to-be graduate of Plevna High School and she is the daughter of Albert & Lynn Paul of Ismay, Montana.

Students selected as rolling scholarship recipients must remain in good standing by maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA as a full-time student in college. These recipients must also continue involvement in NILE, while participating in college organizations and activities

Two high school seniors have been awarded rolling scholarships in the amount of $1,000 annually for up to four years – total of $4,000. They are:

Leah Beery

Leah is a soon-to-be-graduate of Circle High School. She is the daughter of Matt & Krista Beery of Circle, Montana. Leah plans to attend Northwest College in Powell, WY and study Agriculture Education. Her plan is to become an Agriculture Education teacher at a rural school.

Isabelle Lowry

Isabelle Lowry is the daughter of Shane Tamcke & Kimberly Lowry of Helena, MT. In June, Isabelle will graduate from East Helena High School. Isabelle plans to study Ag Science at either Oklahoma State University or Texas A&M University, with plans of working with the Agricultural industry in either Cattle Genetics or Nutrition.

The following students of the class of 2022 have met the rolling scholarship requirements and will be rewarded with their second installment of their scholarship in the amount of $1,000.

Brighton Lane

Brighton is a graduate of Huntley Project High School. She is the daughter of Matthew & Jamie Lane of Huntley, Montana. Brighton plans to attend Northeastern Oklahoma A&M University in Miami, Oklahoma to study Agriculture Communication and Animal Science with plans of becoming an Agricultural Lawyer or Advocate.

Raegan Nansel

Raegan Nansel is the daughter of Jay & Gayle Nansel of Billings, MT. Raegan graduated from Billings West High School and is currently double majoring in Agriculture Business and Economics at Montana State University in Bozeman. Her future plans include attending law school and advocating for folks within the Agriculture industry.

The following students of the class of 2021 has met these requirements and will be rewarded with their third installment of rolling scholarship in the amount of $1,000.

Elizabeth Hickey

Elizabeth is the daughter of Pat & Karen Hickey of Moore, Montana. Elizabeth is currently attending Montana State University in Bozeman and is studying Biochemistry and Pre-Med with plans of working in Radiation Oncology after she completes her secondary education.

Nyssa Schairer

Nyssa is the daughter of Garrett & Julie Schairer of Corvallis, MT. Nyssa is currently attending Montana State University – Bozeman to major in Animal Science and Pre-Veterinary Science. Nyssa plans to become a Large Animal Veterinarian after college.

Four current college students pursuing degrees in higher education have been awarded a Secondary Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.

Jonwyn Ayers

Hailing from Medford, Oregon, Jonwyn is the daughter of Tom Ayers & Cara Pascalar. Jonwyn currently attends Black Hawk College in Kewanee, Illinois and is majoring in Agriculture Economics with hopes of landing a career as an Agriculture/Environmental Lawyer in the future.

Cearra Oblander

Native of Ballantine, Montana and daughter of Clayton & Arla Oblander, Cearra Oblander is a current student at Miles Community College. While at MCC, Cearra is a student athlete on the Volleyball Team while studying Agriculture & Natural Resources and has plans of becoming an Agronomist post college.

Kiley Smieja

Kiley Smieja is a current student at Montana State University in Bozeman. Kiley is studying Animal Science with an option in Livestock Industry & Management; minor in Psychology with hopes of returning to the family operation to expand her herd of show cattle. She is the daughter of Trevor & Cassie Smieja of Belgrade, Montana.

Hayley Stahl

Hayley Stahl is a current freshman at Northern Wyoming College in Sheridan, Wyoming. Hayley is studying General Agriculture with hopes of returning to the family operation or to purchase her own operation. She is the daughter of Toby & Nanette Stahl of Roundup, Montana.

NILE Legacy Award is a $500 award that is awarded to students, either a high school senior or college student, based on their involvement in NILE and NILE activities.

Connor Cook

Connor Cook is the son of Bill & Codi Cook of Huntley, MT. Currently, Connor is a senior at Huntley Project High School. After graduation, he plans to attend Northwest College to obtain a degree in Agriculture Business and return to the family operation as an auctioneer and seedstock producer. Connor and his family have been long-time supporters, exhibitors, and consignors at the NILE dating back to the NILE’s inception in 1967. Connor has exhibited in the Junior Fed Market Steer Division, Angus & Hereford Breeding Cattle Divisions and has volunteered with setup of the NILE and MATE Show through his FFA Chapter.

Braden West

Braden West is a sophomore at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming studying Animal Science and Agriculture Education. After graduating from Casper College in May, Braden plans to continue his education at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. After college, he plans to become an Agriculture Teacher. Braden is the son of Justin & Rindy West of Sheridan, Wyoming. Braden and his family have been long-time exhibitors and consignors at the NILE. Braden’s family consigns club calves to the NILE Club Calf Sale each fall, taking home many champion banners over the years.