The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium was the recent recipient of Leadership in Collaboration by the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. In addition to receiving the award, one of the evenings highlights was being present for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue administering the oath of office to Bill Northey for his new role as the U.S. Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS).
The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium is a community-led organization whose mission is to enhance monarch butterfly reproduction and survival in Iowa through collaborative and coordinated efforts of farmers, private citizens and their organizations. The eastern monarch butterfly population has experienced an 80% decline over the past two decades. One of the causes for population decline is loss of milkweed habitat in the spring and summer breeding ranges of the United States. Iowa is in the center of the monarch’s summer breeding range, and roughly 40% of all monarch butterflies that overwinter in Mexico are estimated to come from Iowa and neighboring Midwest states.