OFRF Board Member Doug Crabtree to Receive Organic Trade Association’s Organic Farmer of the Year Award

OFRF is pleased to announce that Board Member Doug Crabtree will be honored at the Organic Trade Association (OTA) Leadership Awards Celebration on September 17 in Baltimore, Maryland. The association presents Organic Leadership Awards to recognize outstanding visionaries who demonstrate how organic practices can change our world for the better. Doug, as an organic farmer and policy advocate who strives to make his farming operation a compelling example of a better way to farm, certainly fits the bill.

“We were delighted (but not surprised) to learn that Doug Crabtree, now in his second term on OFRF’s board, has been named the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Farmer of the Year,” said OFRF Board President Meg Moynihan. “Doug is a passionate advocate for organic agriculture.”

Since 2009, Doug and his wife and partner, Anna Jones-Crabtree, have owned and operated Vilicus Farms, a diverse organic dryland crop farm in the northern plains of Montana, near the Canadian border. Vilicus is the Latin word for steward, and stewardship—the responsible planning and management of resources—is the hallmark of the operation, where Doug and Anna strive to mirror nature’s growing systems in their farming practices. As the farm has grown from 1,240 acres to 3,800 acres, they have worked to demonstrate a viable alternative to the prevailing conventional farming practices in their area. They grow approximately 15 different crops in a five-year rotation that includes grains, legumes, broadleaves, pulses and oilseeds, with a diversity of cover crop mixes in field strips separated by conservation buffers.

Doug and Anna are strong proponents of organic farming as an important strategy for new producers, and offer an on-farm mentoring apprenticeship program to actively engage new farmers in growing organically, giving them hands-on skills needed to farm successfully.

“Doug is deeply committed to encouraging and supporting new organic farmers, and to creating new opportunities for organic farmers and consumers through his work with organizations like OTA and OFRF,” said Ms. Moynihan. “Congratulations Doug. You keep our eyes on the prize.”