Farmers for Monarchs – a Keystone Collaborative

Following recent declines in monarch butterfly populations, the Keystone Policy Center brought together a diverse group of committed stakeholders, including scientists, conservationists, farmers, and the private sector, to find collaborative solutions to strengthen monarch populations and habitat. Initial conversations were held in spring of 2015 by a group that became the Monarch Collaborative. In May 2018, the Collaborative and the Honey Bee Health Coalition jointly submitted recommendations for enhancing honey bee, monarch butterfly, and pollinator habitat and forage to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In 2021, the group changed its name to Farmers for Monarchs – a Keystone Collaborative. It continues to lead ongoing efforts to develop collaborative strategies to promote and implement actions that will support monarchs in agricultural landscapes. Farmers for Monarchs identifies how partnerships in the farming and ranching community can support and enhance habitat for a sustainable monarch population.

Who We Are

Farmers for Monarchs consists of national organizations representing farmers, ranchers, and land owners; businesses working along the agricultural supply chain; researchers and academic institutions; federal and state entities; and conservation organizations.

Because farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land across much of monarch habitat, they are in a unique position to support sustainable monarch populations.

Farmers, ranchers, and landowners already are engaged in conservation initiatives focused on water quality, erosion control, wildlife, and pollinator habitat. These efforts demonstrate that continuing innovation in agricultural practices can reduce environmental impacts, increase crop productivity, and be compatible with monarch conservation efforts.

Our Approach

We support productive agriculture and livestock operations in concert with monarch conservation. An increase in milkweed and nectar plants appropriately placed in rural areas can benefit monarchs without inhibiting production.

We are committed to making progress through voluntary efforts to restore, enhance, and protect monarch habitat while maintaining producers’ flexibility in their operations.

The Collaborative is utilizing the expertise and experience of its members to:

  • Identify agricultural and conservation practices to support
    healthy monarch populations.
  • Increase awareness of those strategies with the agricultural community and other interested parties.
  • Promote the implementation of practices that will support monarch
    butterfly populations in agricultural landscapes.

Why Our Work Matters

Reversing this trend will require coordinated, collaborative efforts. Engaging in voluntary habitat conservation can be a win-win for all involved, and help ensure productive lands and resilient monarch populations endure for future generations.


  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • American Soybean Association
  • BASF Corporation
  • Bayer Crop Science
  • Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund
  • Corn Refiners Association
  • Corteva Agriscience
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • FMC Corporation
  • Iowa State University
  • Monarch Watch – University of Kansas
  • Monarch Joint Venture
  • National Association of Wheat Growers
  • National Corn Growers Association
  • Pheasants Forever, Inc.
  • Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Institute
  • Sand County Foundation
  • Syngenta
  • Tribal Alliance for Pollinators

With Input From

  • Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service