Monsanto Pledges $100,000 to Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium

March 31st, 2015

AMES, Iowa — Monsanto Co. has pledged $100,000 to Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to support the new Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium.

The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, announced in early March, is a new effort to enhance the monarch butterfly’s habitat in Iowa.

“Monsanto’s pledge will support the consortium’s science-based approaches to enhancing the monarch’s reproductive success and the extension and outreach needed for community-led implementation efforts,” said Wendy Wintersteen, endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Helping monarchs will take a long-term, dedicated effort,” said Eric Sachs, regulatory policy and scientific affairs lead at Monsanto. “We look forward to collaborating with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium to improve and protect monarch habitat across North America.”

Monsanto is one of the consortium’s initial partners, which also include farmer and conservation organizations, state agencies and companies. The consortium was established by Iowa State University, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Nationally, declines in monarch butterflies have been attributed to various factors, including loss of overwintering habitat and the loss of milkweed habitat. Monarchs depend on milkweed plants for laying their eggs and for caterpillar nutrition. As adults, monarchs also rely on other plants for nutrition.

Consortium research will guide the development of cost-effective methods to establish and maintain milkweed plants. Extension programs will deliver practical, “how to” information for conserving monarch butterfly breeding habitat on farms and rural areas.

Contacts: 

Brian Meyer, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, (515) 294-0706, bmeyer@iastate.edu