Minnesota's newest agricultural specialty: Crickets?

a close up photo of many crickets on an egg carton
Pat and Madeline Revier have more than 1 million crickets on their "farm" in Moorhead, Minn. They farm in an industrial space, raising crickets for human and animal consumption.
Courtesy of Pat and Madeline Revier

Minnesota is an agricultural powerhouse. We produce corn, soybeans, hogs, turkeys and … crickets?

Pat and Madeline Revier run Revier Family Farms, a cricket farm in Moorhead, Minn. There, they raise over a million crickets for human and animal consumption.

How’d the Reviers get into cricket farming? Pat told host Cathy Wurzer that he grew up on a dairy farm, and he recently he got the itch to return to the farming lifestyle. He stumbled upon crickets as a space-efficient agricultural option.

When Pat first brought the idea to Madeline, she told him, “Are you insane?” But after doing some research, she got excited about crickets as a sustainable source of protein. According to Madeline, raising crickets requires less land, feed and water than traditional sources of protein, and it’s lighter in greenhouse gas emissions.

Crickets are also extremely versatile as a food product, Madeline said. You can fry them whole, but they’re more frequently used in a ground flour/powder form in baking. Madeline shared her recipe for Chocolate Chirp Cookies (made with cricket flour):

Visit the Revier Family Farms website to purchase crickets and cricket products. Madeline is also looking for a catchy new name for her ABCC (apples, bran, cinnamon and cricket flour) muffins. If you've got a great idea, send it to us at minnesotanow@mpr.org!

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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