Brian Schweitzer became governor of Montana on January 2, 2005. Schweitzer was elected governor in 2004 and re-elected for a second term in 2008.
Schweitzer’s priorities as governor included: incentives for alternative energy production; an historic increase in public education spending along with a balanced budget, no new taxes; and stronger protection of public lands for hunting, fishing and camping.
As a young agronomist, Schweitzer went overseas and worked for a decade to bring American agricultural methods to the developing world. In Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, and during seven years in Saudi Arabia, he oversaw large-scale irrigation projects and the construction of several of the world’s largest dairies.
Schweitzer returned to Montana in 1986 to raise a family and begin ranching. He became active in farm and rural policy. In 1993 he was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the USDA Farm Service Agency committee Montana, and later served on the National Drought Task Force and the Montana Rural Development partnership Board. In 1999, he decided to run for the U.S. Senate.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in international agronomy from Colorado State University and a master of science in soil science from Montana State University.