I am a third generation farmer in the West Valley of Kalispell. My grandfather Hans started farming here as a first generation immigrant from Norway. I am blessed that my father and my grandfather before him created a growing business and life close the land. I continue to grow wheat and canola as well as work to transition the family business to the next generation. I have been a volunteer fireman and served as President of the West Valley Volunteer Fire Department. I am a member of the National Rifle Association and First Presbyterian Church.


This generational conservatism is in my bones and I have a long history serving the Republican party. I have been involved in the Flathead County Republican party and Pachyderm club for over a decade. I was an appointee of both of the last Republican governors: Gov Racicot to the Flathead Basin Commission and Gov Martz to the Montana Wolf Advisory committee. I learned that I had to know the facts of the issue and use them to persuade the majority of the group if there were to be any policies that moved toward Republican values. While many argue that some of those policies aren’t “conservative enough”, and still do to this day, they were moved as far as I could along the spectrum to enable sensible solutions.


As a farmer, I have been a presidential appointee by each of the last two Republican presidents to the Montana Farm Service Agency state committee. Pres. Bush appointed me from  2001 through 2009 during which I also served as Chairman. Pres Trump has appointed me as well starting in 2017 through to this year. I have contributed to the agriculture industry throughout my career by being an active member in the Montana Farm Bureau, Montana Contractors Association, Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Montana Mint Committee, National Association of Barley Growers, and served on the Board of the Montana Grain Growers. I currently serve on the board of Montana Taxpayers Association.


My service on governmental boards prepared me for the legislature where I served in the Montana Senate through the four sessions allowed by term limits. While I was there the Republican legislators elected me to leadership positions as the Chairman of the Senate Taxation Committee for three sessions and as President Pro Tem during the 2011 session.


I continue to engage and learn about issues. It is time for me to step back into community service to apply my skills of fact based decision making and moving majorities to the most conservative position available for the people of Montana. Please read my issue papers to see how I try to make the most conservative decision given real world constraints while standing up to ideology and vilification of the good for want of perfection.

Awards

I am strongly supportive of jobs in Montana, and those organizations representing business in the state have regularly recognized the contributions that I have made in my past legislative tenure.

I have been consistently ranked highest among legislators by the:

  • Montana Chamber of Commerce
  • Montana Contractors Association
  • Montana Hospital Association
  • Montana Oil and Gas Industry
  • Montana Stockgrowers
  • Montana Farm Bureau
  • Montana Educational groups
  • National Federation of Independent Business

I have also been singled out for recognition:

2015

Most Valuable Legislator, Montana Chamber of Commerce

Champion of Business Award, Montana Chamber of Commerce

2013

Champion of Business Award, Montana Chamber of Commerce

2011

Legislator of the Year, Montana Builders Association

Champion of Business Award, Montana Chamber of Commerce

2009   

New legislator award Montana Farm Bureau

Champion of Business Award, Montana Chamber of Commerce

When business is creating high paying jobs for Montanans, I am supporting their efforts.