Making Dreams Come True in the Big Sky
“We have always been dreamers in Montana,” said a former Montana governor. And when you briefly step into the Tutvedts’ life, you see how each successive generation of Montanans can take that dream… and make it real.
"Our kids each have their own dreams."
Four generations of Tutvedt farmers—descended from Norwegians, who came to this land back in the 1920s—have been working the land in Kalispell. Four generations who have loved and cared for seemingly endless farmland, golden fields, and watching the sunset behind the hazy mountains in the distance. Who have swung gloriously from a rope over a water hole and dropped in with a splash. Or trekked across dirt trails—by foot or by motorbike—through pastoral fields.
Here, “Big Sky” isn’t just a saying. It’s home.
“It’s a great way to raise a family, living out here.”
Their farm and land are dedicated to producing wheat and canola, cattle, and even keeping horses. There’s work for everyone, whether it’s Brian and Suzanne or one of their four children. The youngest is Boe, who at sixteen loves spending his time mountain biking or working on a plasma table, which he uses to create elaborate metal signs, wall pieces, and eventually furniture. Nineteen-year-old Nate is in college (“he’s still deciding what to do”), while Garrett is twenty-one and a third-year student at MSU Bozeman. According to Suzanne, he’s “hoping to continue on our family farm here.”
And then there’s Megan, their eldest child, and only daughter. At twenty-four, she’s cowgirl to the core, right down to her rodeo queen chaps.
“Our kids each have their own dreams,” says Suzanne. “They get to do and have a lot of different experiences because of living on a farm. Family’s very important to me. And so, I feel very blessed to have everyone here and wanting to be here. Not just because they have to be, but they want to be here. It’s a good feeling.”
And so Brian and Suzanne are doing everything they can to ensure that their kids have every possible opportunity to pursue their interests. To find their dreams and follow them, whether that’s through art, education, or living the rodeo dream. Even if that dream isn’t exactly cheap.
“[Megan] is really into horses and barrel racing, and she works a lot to be able to pay for those things,” admits Suzanne. And yet, pride in her eldest still lights her eyes. “It’s been a lot of fun watching her grow and develop and improve. She’s come a long way.”
Megan’s love affair with barrel racing started when she was young. By the time she was eight, she was a member of the National Barrel Association and already qualifying. Racing quickly got into her blood, and her parents found themselves transporting their rodeo-lovin’ daughter to watch the races she adored. “When Megan first started, she was young, and so when she wanted to go to the barrel race, we’d have to take her, I don’t know, until she was 18 or 19 years old—then she would start driving me out of town when we’d go places.”
“She had a dream of wanting to buy this Platinum trailer for traveling.”
By the time she was eighteen, Megan was the 2018 NWMT Pro Rodeo Queen. And it’s only recently that she resigned her chaps as the Real Cowboy Association (RCA) Montana Pro Rodeo Queen. (And also announced her recent engagement. Congratulations, Megan!)
But being in the rodeo isn’t easy. There’s a lot of competitions, a lot of travel, and a lot of time spent on the road.
“She had a dream of wanting to buy this Platinum trailer for traveling,” said Suzanne, referring to the coach trailer that accommodates both the horse(s) and owner. “It’s nice to have a living quarter. We went into our Whitefish Credit Union branch, sat down, and penciled it out. And I mean, it came together.”
Through her own hard work, after countless hours bartending, Megan paid off the coach trailer. Making her dream of a home away from home, her very own.
For the Tutvedts, family isn’t just about spending time together or working together. For them, it’s about creating a life—the most idyllic one possible. And here, under the endless blue sky, overlooking the endless fields of gold, it seems like the Tutvedts have created their own vision of the dream life. One filled with love and possibility and all of the important things that can make the every day seem a little closer to heaven.
“We have fun with life here, and it’s a pretty relaxed place to be.”
For Members Like You. Because What We Do Pays Dividends.