International Butterfly Breeders Association, Inc.

The IBBA is an international, non-profit, membership-based trade association promoting high standards of ethics, competence, and professionalism in the breeding of quality Lepidoptera for all purposes. We accomplish this through research, grower education, market development, and habitat conservation and restoration.

Our Mission

Promote, educate, and protect the butterfly farming industry through education, sharing of evidence-based rearing methods, conservation, and political action.

Peace of Mind

Customers who purchase butterflies from a member of the International Butterfly Breeder’s Association (displaying the official seal of the IBBA) are assured that the butterflies you receive will be:

  • hand raised and not wild caught
  • shipped with proper permits and according to USDA regulations
  • raised in sterilized staging areas using detection methods to minimize or eliminate disease and produce high-quality livestock
  • selected for freshness and vibrant health, and packaged and shipped using methods and care to ensure live delivery
  • raised by breeders that have committed to ethical and honest practices in dealing with the general public and other breeders.

International Butterfly Breeders Association Inc. Early History

In the spring of 1998, Rick Mikula, Steve Connolley, Cindy Hepp, Bethany Homeyer, Jack Mikula and Sheri Moreau conceived the idea of a professional trade association for butterfly breeders. Sheri Moreau proposed the name International Butterfly Breeders Association. Planning and research began, and many long hours were spent determining how to bring this organization into being. Steve spoke to attorneys regarding the non-profit status of the association and Bethany researched other organizations to determine what it would take to officially start the International Butterfly Breeders Association (IBBA).



The IBBA was incorporated October of 1998. On Oct. 5, 1998, Christine Morigi filed, as sole incorporator, the Certificate of Incorporation for the IBBA in the state of Delaware. Wednesday, November 11, 1998, the results of the Board elections– held via the Butterfly Farming Association List Server at the Butterfly Website, were announced by Jack Mikula. The first Board of Directors elected were: Paul Cherubini, Steve Connolley, Nina Elshiekh, Bethany Homeyer, Jack Mikula, Rick Mikula, Sheri Moreau, Chris Morigi and Terry Terbush. Jack Mikula hosted the e-mail lists for the IBBA and the Farmers groups.

The newly formed Board of Directors held its first official meeting November 18, 1998. At this meeting, Steve Connolley, President; Bethany Homeyer, Vice President; Jack Mikula, Treasurer and Christine Morigi, Secretary were elected by the Board. Steve Connolley researched having meetings on a “bridge” to bring members together on one telephone call. Conference calls were deemed too expensive, and Steve Connolley located and acquired the bridge time that the IBBA used.

Our Purpose

IBBA original statement of purpose, developed by our very first board of directors:

“To support the growth and development of the commercial butterfly farming industry through a variety of means including research, grower education, market development, habitat conservation, and voluntary adherence to a code of ethics proscribing compassion, conservancy, and integrity.”

First Members

During our first year, the following people were paid members: Kathy Conlin, Steve Connolley, Nina Elshiekh, Bethany Homeyer, Reese Homeyer, Sandra Jones, Gordon Laatz, Melanie McCarthy, Jack Mikula, Rick Mikula, Sheri Moreau and Terry Terbush.

This history has been provided so that we can always remember and appreciate these very special people’s initial work and personal sacrifice, required to found the IBBA for all of us. Thank you to the founders of the IBBA for caring enough to give so much of yourselves. Special thanks to Christine Morigi for her work to acquire the IBBA’s Tax Exempt Status under Section 501(a) of the IRS Code, for non-profit organization exemption from federal income tax on the corporate level.