2020 Board Member
Business: The Butterfly Haven
I first remember butterflies as one of the insects my brothers pinned for their 4H club when I was a little girl. I was a very outdoor country girl and would watch the butterflies as I rode my horse. Fast forward to when Randy would bring the caterpillars in from the farm to be raised by him and our children to adult monarchs and then released. We have been married for 41 years. Randy is the butterfly guy and I am very happy to be his side kick.
For 32 years, we raised hothouse tomatoes and organic culinary herbs for the grocery chains in the Intermountain region with Randy supervising the growing/harvesting/packaging/employees while I did the marketing and ran the office. We raised herbs and four kids. For 15 of those years, we had the desire to put in a botanical garden filled with birds and butterflies as an attraction for tourists headed to Yellowstone National Park. We looked at putting it 10 miles away near I 15 but the cost was just too much. Four years ago, our dream became reality when we decided to try the “Field of Dreams” mantra that if we build it, they will come!
We built a gift shop attached to the butterfly house (in a greenhouse we already had) and began another wonderful journey of adventure! I run the gift shop, office and do most of the marketing while Randy grows all of the wonderful plants to support the butterflies, raises butterflies and our 6 species of birds. He builds whatever we need (such as the gift shop) and makes sure everything is beautiful for our guests.
We also have an observation honey beehive in the gift shop. Randy has been a beekeeper for 40 plus years. Our mission is to bring awareness to everyone that WE, human beings, are a great part of the cause in the decline of all pollinators and that WE can help, starting right now, to change that. I love to teach so helping people learn what they can plant to support the butterflies and bees is fun for me.
In our off season, (we are open May 1st thru September 30th) I have enjoyed taking butterflies into schools and other events to teach about these amazing insects. We are helped by our two adult daughters and their families: both are great at growing plants, building, marketing and as guides. We built it and, WOW, are they coming! I hope I can be an asset to the IBBA. My strengths are anything business related, speaking in front of groups large or small, and marketing, both old school and digital with google and social media.