Past IBBA President
Business: Monarchs Forever
David Bohlken has been one of the world’s largest butterfly farmers and exhibitors for over thirty years. With up to 20 exhibits a year in multiple countries, his exhibits have been visited by millions of butterfly enthusiasts.
In 1988, he launched Monarchs Forever, his first commercial monarch butterfly production facility, in Luck, Wisconsin. For nearly a decade, the farm produced the majority of monarchs flown in butterfly exhibits in the United States and Europe, and up to 500 pounds of milkweed seed a year. He started the first temporary butterfly flight house in 1996, which has since expanded to welcome over 70,000 visitors annually during the twelve days of the Minnesota State Fair, the world’s largest agricultural event.
Bohlken works closely with many organizations, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA NRCS, the International Butterfly Breeders Association, the Tribal Alliance for Pollinators and Tribal Environmental Action for Monarchs, to help provide a long-term practical view of monarch conservation. He currently lives near Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his wife Jane Breckinridge, where they are building a native seed storage facility and permanent butterfly flight house.