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Anna Jones-Crabtree

Vilicus Farms

Anna and her husband Doug own and manage Vilicus Farms, a first generation, organic, 12,500 acre dryland crop farm in Northern Hill County, Montana growing a diverse array of organic heirloom and specialty grain, pulse, oilseed and broadleaf crops under five and seven-year rotations. In fifteen seasons, Vilicus Farms grew from 1,280 acres using USDA’s beginning farmer programs, employing extensive conservation practices, and fostering unique risk sharing relationships with food companies, land investment firms and individuals that care about having an intact planet. Over 26% of their land is in non- crop conservation and 300 acres seeded to native pollinator habitat. Annually they seed over 3,000 acres of cover crops, and use integrated grazing. Vilicus Farms became Bee Better certified and Real Organic Project Certified in 2019. They will be Regenerative Organic certification in 2024 and are transitioning towards Demeter Biodynamic certification. They have hosted 14 apprentices, many interns and more farm campers than can be counted. They launched a value added enterprise to sell identity preserved rye direct to distillers in 2021.

Anna also serves as the Executive Director for Vilicus Institute, a land-based learning laboratory with the mission of supporting social and economic conditions conducive to life for organic farmers on the Northern Great Plains.

Anna holds a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a minor in Sustainable Systems from Georgia Institute of Technology. She currently serves on the Xerces Society Bee Better Advisory Board, and Chair of the Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT’s Board of Directors. Anna served on the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Council on Beginning Farmers & Ranchers and is a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow. Given the realities of agriculture, she still holds an off-farm position as the Regional Director of Data, Information and Geospatial Resource for the Northern Region of the US Forest Service.