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Fairfield, Montana
Fairfield High School
Fairfield High School
Malting Barley Capital of the World
Location of Fairfield, Montana
Location of Fairfield, Montana
Country United States
State Montana
County Teton
 • Total 0.30 sq mi (0.79 km2)
 • Land 0.30 sq mi (0.79 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
3,983 ft (1,214 m)
 • Total 759
 • Density 2,530.00/sq mi (960.76/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (Mountain (MST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 406
FIPS code 30-25225
GNIS feature ID 0771287

Fairfield is a town in Teton County, Montana, United States. The population was 759 at the 2020 census. Fairfield is the self-proclaimed "Malting Barley Capital of the World" with 83,000 acres (336 km2) of irrigated cropland and 56,000 acres (227 km2) of non-irrigated cropland in production for the purpose of raising malt barley in the vicinity.

Fairfield began as a station on the Milwaukee and is between Great Falls and Choteau and near Freezeout Lake, (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company) where as many as 300,000 snow geese and 10,000 tundra swans gather in March. Fairfield serves as a trading center for the farmers of Greenfield Bench. Irrigation now assures crops, but in earlier days a dry summer made the grass scarce and the name "Freeze-out Bench" was applied to the area. "Greenfield Bench" and Fairfield are now descriptive of the hay and grain fields surrounding the town.

Even though the federal government had opened this area of Montana to homesteading in 1862, not until 1909 did settlers really come into the Fairfield area when Congress liberalized this act allowing the settler 320 acres of free land instead of 160. It became apparent, however, that the small homesteads, 160 or 320 acres, made little sense in the vast and dry landscape of Montana. After the Bureau of Reclamation conducted a survey that showed a dam could be built in the Sun River Canyon and water for irrigation in Fairfield area would be feasible were many more settlers attracted to Fairfield. The Gibson Dam was completed in 1929. Today, Greenfield Irrigation District delivers water from Gibson Dam to approximately 83,000 acres surrounding this community.

Fairfield is nicknamed the "Malting Barley Capital of the World", a trade center for the farming community as well as being home to Busch Agricultural Resources, 3 Rivers Telephone Cooperative and Sun River Electric Cooperative.


Fairfield is located at 47°36′55″N 111°58′51″W / 47.61528°N 111.98083°W / 47.61528; -111.98083 (47.615250, -111.980859).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.31 square miles (0.80 km2), all of it land.

Freezeout Lake
Freezeout Lake


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 693
1960 752 8.5%
1970 638 −15.2%
1980 650 1.9%
1990 660 1.5%
2000 659 −0.2%
2010 708 7.4%
2020 759 7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 708 people, 305 households, and 204 families residing in the town. The population density was 2.8 inhabitants per square mile (1.1/km2). There were 339 housing units at an average density of 1,093.5 per square mile (422.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.9% White, 1.3% Native American, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.

There were 305 households, of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.1% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the town was 42.1 years. 27% of residents were under the age of 18; 3.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22% were from 25 to 44; 26% were from 45 to 64; and 21.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Fairfield has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.


Public Schools

Fairfield Public Schools serves grades K-12. In 2019, Fairfield Elementary was one of three Montana schools selected by the U.S. Department of Education to receive the National Blue Ribbon School award. That same year, the state honored Fairfield Superintendent Les Meyer as Superintendent of the Year.

From 2010-2015, the high school girls' basketball team, coached by Dustin Gordon, collected 120 consecutive wins solidifying one of the longest winning streaks for a high school girls' basketball team in the United States. Fairfield High School's team name is the Eagles.

Private Schools

There is a private Mennonite school in Fairfield.


Fairfield has a public library operated in a joint city-county arrangement.

Notable person

  • Gordon McOmber, Montana Lieutenant Governor, 1988-1989
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