Joel advocates for his constituents at a town hall

Joel Krautter grew up in the small town of Deer Lodge, Montana, in a family with a strong tradition of service to others. His father, Martin, is a graduate of Eastern Montana College and spent 17 years as a special education teacher and involved with supporting Special Olympics before becoming a pastor. Joel’s mother, Lual, is a talented Montana artist and harpist. Joel’s younger brother Daniel is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in Huntsville, Alabama.

Joel learned the value of hard work and felt the call to a career of helping others at a young age and this has guided Joel throughout his life.

Joel graduated from Powell County High School in Deer Lodge. It was during high school that Joel became inspired to pursue a career in law and public service, as a way to help improve the lives of others, after attending a student trip to Washington, D.C. with the Close-Up organization and also attending the Montana American Legion’s Boys State.

Joel attends his brother Daniel’s graduation from medical school with family and friends.

Joel attended Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government: Pre-Law. Joel then returned to Montana, where he graduated from the University of Montana School of Law with his Juris Doctor degree.

After graduating from law school in 2014, Joel started his legal career in eastern Montana with the Netzer Law Office, P.C. in Sidney. In 2018, Joel became a partner in the law firm. Joel is the president of the Northeast Montana Bar Association and a former Trustee of the State Bar of Montana.

While living in Sidney, Joel got involved in local politics and was elected Chairman of the Richland County Republican Central Committee, before being elected State Representative and serving a term in the Montana legislature from 2019-2021, where he served on the House Business & Labor Committee, Transportation Committee and Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee.

Joel lends a hand at an eastern Montana spring branding.

While at the legislature, Joel was proud to sponsor and pass legislation to support Montana agriculture, return more oil and gas tax revenue to oil and gas producing cities and towns in eastern and central Montana and support solutions to Montana’s mental health care crisis. Joel achieved these results for the people of Montana by building consensus and bringing people together around common sense policies.

Joel was recognized for his outstanding work at the Montana legislature by the Montana Chamber of Commerce, who recognized Joel as being a “Champion of Business” and by the Montana Farm Bureau, who awarded Joel their “Rookie Legislator of the Year” award for the first-term legislator who went above and beyond in supporting Montana agriculture. Joel also received the “Spirit Award” from Disability Rights Montana, the “Hero Award” from the National Association of Mental Illness, Montana Chapter and the “Impact Award” at the 2019 Montana Suicide Prevention Conference. In 2021, Joel was appointed to and served on the Gianforte administration’s Lower Yellowstone River Advisory Committee of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.


Joel passes bipartisan legislation to return more oil and gas tax revenue to eastern and central Montana cities and towns from the state.

Joel is committed to continuing to learn and improve his knowledge of issues of critical importance to Montana, participating in and graduating from the REAL Montana leadership development program in 2021.

In 2022, Joel relocated to Billings, Montana, where he has continued his legal practice with Netzer, Krautter & Brown, P.C. In 2022, Joel served on the Executive Committee of the Constitutional Convention Celebration Committee, which organized events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Montana Constitution. Joel then helped co-found the non-profit organization, “Friends of the Montana Constitution.”

In his free time, Joel enjoys being in the Montana outdoors with “Chester” his Golden Retriever dog, continuing to learn about Montana’s rich history, listening to live music, hunting and traveling.

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