building a new agrarian community

Doug Crabtree, Anna Jones-Crabtree, & Paul Neubauer

Vilicus Farms


For the inaugural episode of Regeneration Rising, we sat down with Anna Jones-Crabtree, Doug Crabtree, and their new Farm Operations Foreman Paul Neubauer. Paul is just starting an apprenticeship with Doug and Anna at Vilicus Farms, an organic, dryland crop farm in Northern Hill County, Montana. Since 2009, Vilicus Farms has grown to a 7,400-acre organic farming operation with a conservation-based ethic. In addition to stewarding their land, Anna and Doug are also committed to cultivating beginning farmers. They launched a beginning organic farmer apprenticeship program in 2013 to build their community in Northern Montana. In this episode, Doug, Anna, and Paul discuss building a new agrarian community, the role of long-term mentorship, and important moments in their respective agrarian journeys. We hope you enjoy the episode!


Topics discussed:

4:30 Paul asks his mentors Doug and Anna, “What makes mentorship appealing to you?”

7:30 What community means. Building community at a time when rural America is depopulating

16:40 The significance of a long-term mentor/mentee relationship

21:15 Privilege and access; how to bring more young people into agriculture and keep them there

27:08 Starting Vilicus farms

29:00 “What moment did you become a farmer?”

41:50 Doug asks Paul what he looks forward to bringing to his apprenticeship at Vilicus Farms

49:45: Book recommendations

Referenced in this episode:

Paul Neubauer

Paul Neubauer

Anna Jones-Crabtree

Anna Jones-Crabtree