Center for Rural Affairs honors Montana Farm Couple - Crabtrees receive national Citizenship Award

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Traci Bruckner,, Center for Rural Affairs, (402) 687-2103 ext. 1016

Lyons, NE- The Center for Rural Affairs presented its 2013 Citizenship Award to Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones-Crabtree, who farm near Havre, Montana. They were honored at a special awards banquet February 11 at the Nielsen Community Center in West Point, Nebraska. The Citizenship Award is given annually to an individual or individuals who actively participate in the democratic process for creating public policy, and who work closely with the Center for Rural Affairs to advance public policies that strengthen family farms, ranches and rural communities.

"We are honored to receive the Citizenship Award, but the reality is the Center for Rural Affairs is what is enabling us to have a policy voice,” said Doug Crabtree.

The Crabtrees are beginning farmers in Montana, starting in 2009. They operate an 1,800 acre certified organic dryland crop farm just south of the Canadian border in Hill County, Montana.

“Doug and Anna are not only using some of the initiatives we worked on in the 2008 Farm Bill, they have helped us lobby for them in Congress as well as within USDA regarding the proper implementation of these programs,” commented Traci Bruckner, Assistant Director for Rural Policy of the Center for Rural Affairs.  “They participated in a crucial Washington, D.C. fly-in for a meeting with USDA, lending a credible and experienced voice to policy advocacy on beginning farmer and rancher issues. They have continued to be active in our work on the 2012 Farm Bill as well, going to D.C. for fly-ins and much more.”

According to Brucker, Doug and Anna used the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative to help get started with their organic operation. They are also participating in the Conservation Stewardship Program and have provided the Center with many ideas on how the program could be improved to better serve beginners and organic farmers and ranchers. They have also accessed Farm Service Agency loan programs.

“Doug and Anna have also lent their voice to our fundraising efforts by allowing us to feature them in more than one of our appeal letters. They have responded to us many, many times when asked to act on an issue or be part of a press release, and more. Not only are they engaged supporters of the Center for Rural Affairs, we also consider them friends. They are great people doing great things,” Bruckner added.

For a picture of the Crabtrees accepting their award, visit: Doug and Anna CrabtreeDoug and Anna Crabtree on Flickr

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