Bjellands to be honored at Griz-Cat game

Even though they have quite the drive from their Conrad farm, Jim and Chris Bjelland wouldn’t miss cheering on their Griz football team in person.

In fact, Bjelland has attended 44 consecutive Griz-Cat games.

The Bjellands will be presented with a Community Service Award at Saturdays Griz-Cat contest in Missoula. They will be recognized during the game.

The award recognizes support of and service to The University of Montana and its athletic programs, as well as service to hometown communities. It is presented by UM and coordinated by the Office of Alumni Relations, Grizzly Athletics and the Grizzly Scholarship Association.

Bjelland graduated in 1977 from UM’s School of Business with a degree in accounting. While in school, he participated as a charter member of the UM Advocates and played intramural sports.

He then took over the family business and became a third-generation wheat farmer in Conrad.

The farm was established 103 years ago.

His wife, Chris, attended Carroll College but has become an avid Griz fan. Their 17-year-old son Konnor plans to attend UM in fall 2013. In addition to Konnor, the Bjellands have two more children, Kelsey, 25, and Karl, 22.

Since his graduation, Bjelland has been active with the UM Business School Advisory Council, serves as a Wells Fargo Bank director and is a member of the Pondera County Planning Board. The Bjellands also are active members of their country church.

When not cheering on the Grizzly football team, the couple enjoys golfing, skiing and boating with the family.