14 things about John Tester
1. He was born in August 1956 and raised in Big Sandy, Mont., on land that his grandfather homesteaded in the early 1900s.
2. His family farmed and ran a butcher shop.
3. When he was 9, Tester had a run-in with a meat grinder and lost three fingers on his left hand.
4 He graduated from Big Sandy High School in 1974, and then received a bachelor's degree in music from the University of Great Falls in 1978.
5. He taught music from 1978 to 1980 in the Big Sandy School District.
6. He worked in his family's business, T-Bone Farms, and began growing organic wheat, barley, peas, and lentils on the 1,400-acre site in north central Montana.
7. Tester has served as the national treasurer of the Organic Crop Improvement Association International and has worked on the establishment of organic standards laws.
8. In 2005, he was named an outstanding agricultural leader by the College of Agriculture at Montana State University.
9. He and his wife, Sharla, have a daughter, Christine, son Shon, and one grandchild.
10. Tester was on the Big Sandy School Board from 1983 through 1992. He was first elected as a Montana state senator in 1998.
11. Friends say he plays a mean third base.
12. He was elected president of the state Senate in 2004.
13. In August 2005, the band Pearl Jam gave a concert in Montana, helping Tester raise $85,000. The band's bass player, Jeff Ament, is from Big Sandy.
14. He's pledged that if elected he will ban lobbyist gifts, meals, and travel paid by external sources. Tester has also stated that he will publicly post any meetings he has with lobbyists at the end of each business day.