Anna is a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow and a recipient of the White House Greening Government Sustainability Hero Award. She holds a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering with a minor in sustainable systems from Georgia Institute of Technology. Anna served on the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Council on Beginning Farmers & Ranchers. Most importantly, Anna, Doug, and their three Jack Russell Terriers are avid members of the Lentil Underground (lentilunderground.com).
Vilicus Farms is a first-generation, organic, dryland crop farm in Northern Hill County, Montana. Owned and operated by Anna and her husband, Doug Crabtree, Vilicus Farms grows a diverse array of organic heirloom and specialty grain, pulse, oilseed and broadleaf crops under five and seven-year rotations. In only nine seasons, Vilicus Farms grew from 1,280 acres to a 7,400-acre nationally-recognized farm by using the USDA’s beginning farmer programs, employing extensive conservation practices, and fostering unique risk-sharing relationships with food companies and land investment firms.
Vilicus Training Institute (VTI) launched in 2015 to bring a new generation of land stewards to the Northern Great Plains. VTI began the only organic grain farming apprenticeship in 2013 and in 2017 registered a formal apprenticeship with the State of Montana.