When it comes to insects, farming is often done from an “Us vs. Them” mentality. But emerging alternatives are agriculturally productive, creative, and friendly to insect life on which so much other life depends. Hear from two innovative row crop farmers—one from Iowa (Paul Mugge) and one from Montana (Anna Jones-Crabtree)— using life-friendly farming practices. They’ll share practical lessons from their experience, what has been the relationship between insect diversity and profitability, and what have been their personal challenges and satisfactions.
• Grew up on a 300-acre family farm
• Studied engineering and agriculture at Iowa State University
• Returned to Iowa farm when his father retired
• Evolved from conventional to entirely organic over years
• Crops include corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and small grains
• Installed first prairie strip 18 years ago.
Anna Jones-Crabtree, PhD
• Anna & her husband Doug own and manage Vilicus Farms, a first generation, organic, 9,600-acre dryland crop farm in Northern Hill County, Montana
• Grow a diverse array of organic heirloom and specialty grain, pulse, oilseed and broadleaf crops
• Over 400 acres seeded to native pollinator habitat
• Serves on the Xerces Society Bee Better Advisory Board.