Anna Jones-Crabtree is a longtime AERO member and past Board Member. She and her husband Doug own and operate Vilicus Farm in Havre, Montana, where they raise a variety of certified organic legumes, oilseeds and grains. Although in their early 40s, they are considered ‘beginning farmers’. They purchased land off the open-market in March of 2009 and through the support of FSA’s Beginning Farmer programs were able to start a farm literally from scratch. Anna has been active in many AERO activities and was recently involved in the Helena Climate Change Task Force, whose Action Plan calls for changes in both the municipality’s government operations and the broader community. Recommendations were targeted at increasing energy efficiency, renewable energy and building capacity within city staff and the community to ensure implementation of all the proposed action items.
Since joining the United States Forest Service in 1992, as an engineer, Anna has worked to reduce that agency’s environmental footprint and, in early October 2010, she was recognized as a Sustainability Hero by a Presidential Greening Government Award. As the White House states, Anna “catalyzed an interagency effort in sustainable practice at the U.S. Forest Service’s facilities and fleet, and in its purchasing and waste processes.” Her projects have saved 964 billion BTUs and nearly $10.1 million in energy costs, reduced fleet miles-driven by approximately 720,000 miles, increased annual biodiesel and E-85 use by 12,800 gallons and 90,800 gallons, respectively, and saved more than 970 million gallons of water. Read more about her work with many of the western regions of the United States Forest Service and her recent honor.
Anna’s commitment to sustainability extends to all areas of her life, including Vilicus Farm, and the sustainable home she and Doug built when living in Sheridan, Wyo. Anna continues to be an active voice in the farming community. She’s also thrilled at AERO’s help in bringing Northwestern Energy’s Green Blocks program to Helena. Through that program she and Doug are getting a whole-house insulation makeover for their 123 year old Helena home! Anna is also a Fellow with the Donella Meadows Sustainability Leadership Program.