We use only organic wheat in our products that contain wheat, such as macaroni and cheese, crackers, cookies, pretzels, and pizzas. Different types of wheat, from different farms, are used to make these products. For example, we use durum wheat to make the pasta for our mac and cheese. Much of this durum wheat is grown in the American Northern Plains, which have ideal conditions for wheat production. In the past few years, we’ve made several trips to visit farmers in this region, including a couple from Montana — Anna Jones-Crabtree and Doug Crabtree — who began farming in 2009.
Anna and Doug are no ordinary couple. They come to farming with extensive sustainability and organic expertise. Anna serves as the national sustainability coordinator for a federal agency, while Doug spent 11 years managing organic certification in the state of Montana. In their “free time,” they farm a diverse array of heirloom and specialty grains, pulse, oilseed, and broadleaf crops on approximately 1,800 acres of land. They take a holistic approach to their farming system — applying ecological practices like the use of cover crops, pollinator habitat development, green manures, intercropping, oilseeds for fuel, and a comprehensive 5-year crop rotation. They extend this holistic approach even further by building programs that can help educate the next generation of farmers. Annie’s is proud to support their Farm Apprenticeship Program for organic dryland systems, and we hope to see many young farmers benefit from Anna and Doug’s experience.