Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Many Hands Make Light Work…Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Janine IMG_1243 EPost written by Janine Merrill, Marketing Officer for Stockman Bank

In Montana we truly are neighbors helping neighbors.

We recently saw the significance of this during the Lodgepole Complex and Western Montana fires this year.

It was amazing and inspiring to see Montanans come together to help those in need.

Being neighborly has tremendous meaning but sometimes people overlook the significance of what it truly means to be a good neighbor.

As a rancher in Montana (I’m from the central Montana area – Stanford to be exact!), the concept of being neighborly is not only alive and well, but we consider our neighbors to be our most important commodity.

The camaraderie we share as fellow ranchers and farmers is heartfelt and is the cornerstone of any successful operation. Read more

Domestic Juggler

Domestic Juggler

Brandi Gray

Brandi Gray

Post written by Brandi GrayCompliance Officer | Domestic Juggler | Motivator | Lover of Eastern Montana | Outdoor Enthusiast

I’m a full time employee at Stockman Bank as well as a full time wife and mother.

I love my job and I love my family, but times can get crazy just trying to get to the bank in the morning. This juggling act means that my circus has many acts vying for the attention of the ringmaster.

Sometimes it feels like I’m riding a unicycle on a tightrope with acrobats flying around me while I’m spinning plates. The Gray Circus runs from 6:30 AM to 7:45 AM weekdays. I may not have every duty every morning, but the majority of the time these are my duties as mom/ringmaster: Read more

Montana Thrillers

Montana Thrillers: Haunted Tales of Historic Sites in Montana

Cassandra GarrisonPost written by Cassandra Garrison, Real Estate Media Specialist | Web Developer | Techie | Philanthropist | Gypsy Soul | Snowboarder | Top-Tier Millennial

Yes! My favorite time of year is finally here…. Autumn!

I eagerly anticipate the arrival of this season every year!  I love everything about fall for many reasons: warm cozy sweaters to snuggle into, visiting the local pumpkin patch, shopping at the local farmer’s market, and the colorful cornucopia of red, gold, and bronze colors that adorn our trees for a short time every year (Although I wish it were longer!).

My favorite holiday also happens to be Halloween. Since I was a child, I’ve loved dressing up and going trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, drinking hot apple cider, and watching Halloween movie classics like Hocus Pocus, Nightmare before Christmas, and Casper.

Yes, it’s true, the kid at heart still lives within me during the holiday season.

Another family tradition I greatly enjoy is telling ghost stories around the firepit or campfire. I’d previously shared with you that my father is a living Montana history book. Turns out our state has its fair share of ghostly history! Whether you believe or don’t believe in ghosts, it’s fun to hear these chilling tales of rumored hauntings.

Throughout the month of October, I plan to revisit the history of some historical sites in Montana that have reported ghostly activity. I’ll begin with 3 places in Montana that are fairly well-known. So who’s ready to go ghost-hunting with me across the state? Read more

Cody Catch

The Fish of 1,000 Casts

Cody Walk

Cody Walk

Post written by Cody Walk, Digital Media Marketer | RMC Alumni | Avid Fisherman | Youth Football Coach | Amateur Photographer | SKOL Vikes

It doesn’t take much to convince me to go fishing – especially when monster fish are the target.

The rivers and streams in Montana have lead to a few big trout at the end of my line, but none compare to the wild Steelhead or “The Fish of 1,000 Casts”, that make their long journey to Idaho from the ocean.

My quest for a Steelhead began a few years ago. A friend of mine takes a trip or two every year to Idaho in hopes of landing one of these elusive fish, and every year I have been unable to go. This past spring, my senior year of college, I was finally able to go.

When I was asked to come along and try to land a Steelhead on a fly rod, without hesitation I agreed. As plans began to unfold, it was becoming more apparent that landing one of these fish was no small task.

I was advised to purchase at least 100 barbless flies to ensure that I had enough. Having never been and not knowing what to expect, I thought that was an outrageous amount. I’m glad a listened though, because after two trips, I came home with only 7 remaining.

With everything packed up and ready to go, we made the 500 mile drive to our destination: Secret, Idaho. We arrived in the middle of a warm spring day. Eager to fish, we decided not to set up the tents and ran straight to the river to begin casting away. Read more

Buy Your First House

Want to Buy Your First House? Here’s What You Need to Know.


Kim Tomljenovich

Post written by Kim Tomljenovich, Real Estate Loan Officer

Buying your first home can be a scary process. To some, coming into the bank to see a lender could be scarier than going to the dentist.

It’s not that it’s a difficult process to get a home loan, it’s that people don’t know what to bring to their first meeting.

Most first-time homebuyers don’t have a clue what they would even qualify to buy, and many have that “deer in the headlights” look when they walk in.

The purpose of this post is to help you understand what to bring to your mortgage lender and what to expect when buying your first home. Read more

Katie Roth Olson

96 Year Old Katie (Roth) Olson is a True Gem

Naomi Rolandson

Naomi Rolandson

Post written by Naomi Rolandson, Music Lover| Hairdresser | Good book and a rainy day| Beautiful Scenery| Puzzle Maniac | Go Cubs Go!!

Every town has one: that person who can be found in the middle of whatever is going on. Entertaining, cooking, volunteering, planning, organizing, directing, leading, teaching….and the list goes on.

Hysham claims 96-year-old Katie (Roth) Olson, as our local gem. Katie is an extraordinary woman who has lived a full life in this small community. She was born in Billings, Montana, the 7th of 12 children.

Her family moved to a farm near Sanders (east of Hysham) when she was in upper elementary school. Katie recalls her father growing sugar beets and harvesting them with a team of horses.

Katie Olson

She and many of her classmates were kept out of school for several weeks in the Fall to help with the process. Asked about the harvest, Katie fondly replies, “I never did learn to drive a tractor but I sure knew how to drive a team of horses!”

Katie graduated from Hysham High School in 1941. She married the love of her life, John Olson, before he left to serve in WW II. While John was gone, Katie lived with his two sisters in Bozeman and began a short career as a hairdresser.

When John returned from the war, the couple moved back to the Hysham area and farmed. A few years later, they purchased their own farm and have lived and worked there for over 65 years.

John and Katie raised five children, instilling in them a good work ethic, love for their family, community, and church. Read more


Fraud Alert: Weather Disasters Gusting in Scams

Nicole StuartPost written Nicole Stuart, Fraud Risk Administrative Support

There is nothing quite as heartbreaking as a weather disaster that leaves thousands of people homeless and stranded without anything to their name.

It’s a time when many Americans step up and feel the need and desire to help in any way possible.

Unfortunately there are criminals out there that prey upon the kindness of others. Here is what to look for when trying to decide how you can help in these weather disasters:

Watch out for charity scams: To insure you are giving to the right charities, check with the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar. These organizations provide lists of valid charities that are raising funds for legitimate causes. So you can rest easy knowing your donations are going to the correct places.

Beware of links to charities: There is no reason to click on links or attachments in emails about donating to a charity, unless you know who sent it. You could unwillingly install malware on your device.

Question social media posts: Do not assume charity messages posted on social media are legitimate. Do some research to see if the company is genuine. Read more