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56 Counties
First Monday of the Month at 6:30pm

Fifty-Six Counties is a radio program hosted by Russell Rowland, author of the book Fifty-Six Counties: A Montana Journey. For the book, Rowland traveled to every county in Montana and interviewed the people there about what’s going on around the state, while also researching the history to find the parallels and patterns.

The radio program is an extension of this conversation, with Rowland interviewing people from all over Montana to find out how Montana has shaped them, and what they’re doing to shape Montana.

Latest Episodes
  • Fergus County was one of the pleasant surprises when I was going my tour of Montana for 56 Counties. I had never been to Lewistown before, and was surprised to find a town of nearly 6000 people, with some of the most beautiful sandstone buildings in the state.
  • Like many Montana counties, Cascade County came about because of the railroad, and particularly a plan between two influential men, Paris Gibson and Robert Vaugh. They plotted a city near what is now called the Great Falls, in order to take advantage of the falls to create hydroelectric power. Railroad magnate James Hill provided much of the financing for the early town of Great Falls, which was built on what was once Blackfeet land. The city now relies as much on the Air Force base as its other primary industries.
  • Petroleum County is the smallest county in Montana in terms of population, with less than 500 people. But they have an extremely active group called ACES (Agricultural Community Enhancement and Sustainability) that is working hard to make Winnett a place where people want to stay and thrive.
  • Arts & Culture
    Jerry and Kathy Sikorski live on the ranch in Fallon County where Jerry grew up, halfway between Baker and Ekalaka. Jerry was a helicopter pilot in…
  • Arts & Culture
    On this month's episode of 56 Counties, host Russell Rowland features Carbon County in an interview with Doug and Sarie MacKay.Doug MacKay was born and…
  • Arts & Culture
    On this episode of 56 Counties, host Russell Rowland explores Musselshell County with help from rancher Bill Milton, artist Coila Evans, and sculptor and…
  • Arts & Culture
    Roosevelt County is located in the northeast corner of Montana, bordering North Dakota on the East. Three fourths of the county is made up of the Fort…
  • Arts & Culture
    Missoula County is known as the most progressive county in Montana, but it also has a very complicated history with race relations and environmental…
  • Arts & Culture
    On this month's episode of 56 Counties, host Russell Rowland features Bighorn County by highlighting ethnobotanist Linwood Tallbull and Executive Director…
  • Arts & Culture
    On this episode of 56 Counties, host Russell Rowland features Powder River County through discussions with actor, horse trainer, and hotelier Steve Held…