Brian Schweitzer, Governor, State of Montana
Elected: November 2004
Current Term: January 2005 to January 2009
Brian was born in Havre in 1955, the fourth of six children -- five sons and a daughter -- of Kay and Adam Schweitzer. He was raised on his parent's registered cattle ranch in the Judith Basin, Montana. Brian Schweitzer with his family. His German and Irish grandparents immigrated to Montana near the turn of the century and homesteaded in Hill County. They are buried there. His parents still farm near Geyser.
Brian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Agronomy from Colorado State University, and later earned a Master of Science degree in Soil Science from Montana State University. Brian married Nancy Hupp, his college sweetheart, in 1981. Nancy was raised in Billings and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from Montana State University.
Brian has been signing the front side of a paycheck for 25 years. He has owned and operated Montana farms in Flathead, Sanders, Rosebud, and Judith Basin Counties. Brian Schweitzer with his brothers His business and agricultural experience is broad and deep, including extensive farming and ranching experience in Montana, and successful agricultural business projects on five continents.
After graduation, Brian and Nancy began a career of irrigation development that took them to Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. He has built hundreds of miles of roads, poured thousands of yards of concrete, buried many miles of pipe, and built hundreds of structures, from houses to warehouses to distillation plants. During seven years in Saudi Arabia, Brian developed over 28,000 acres of irrigated cropland. Brian and Nancy returned to Montana in 1986 to raise a family and to build a ranching and irrigation business in Montana.
In 1993, Brian was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the Montana State USDA Farm Service Agency committee. Brian SchweitzerHe served for seven years with the FSA, and his three-person committee was responsible for the operation of 46 county offices, 300 employees and a budget of more than $300 million. He resigned in 1999 to run for U.S. Senate.
Brian has been active in developing and implementing national farm policy, and ensuring that the voice of local Montanans is heard. In 1995, he received an award from the Secretary of Agriculture for outreach efforts to Native Americans. In 1996, Brian was appointed to the Montana Rural Development Partnership Board. In 1999, he was appointed to the National Drought Task Force, a 16-member national board, to review policy and report to Congress an improved coordination response to drought emergencies nationwide. Childhood photo of Brian Schweitzer
Brian’s life experiences are broad and diverse. He has learned to fly his own plane, obtained a Montana Boiler’s license, has communicated in several languages and has a chemical applicator’s license.
On November 2, 2004 Brian was elected as Montana's first democratic governor since 1988. Brian Schweitzer became the 23rd Governor of the great state of Montana on January 3, 2005.
Brian and Nancy have three children, sons Ben and Khai and daughter Katrina.