Dekleva Debbie Dekleva

Wild Idea Cultivator, Monarch Flyway

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Debbie Dekleva is a results oriented entrepreneur who has a successful track record of creating and developing products from milkweed raw materials. She enjoys collaboration with diverse people and businesses to economically benefit multiple stakeholders while protecting and expanding monarch habitat.   She has worked with BOSE, Estee Lauder, USDA scientists, Cornell, North Carolina State University and University of Nebraska research departments to meet product specs and evaluate barriers to market of milkweed raw materials. She is excited about expanding milkweed's usefulness into the higher volume demands of nonwovens.  

Thursday 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Advanced Materials

Milking a Weed: Past, Present and Future of Milkweed Fiber

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues are yet to be discovered." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

And so it goes for Milkweed: as an unsung hero of WWII, to a nuisance that landowners try to kill, milkweed is once again in the limelight for its crucial role as monarch butterfly habitat. Milkweed has been used throughout history and is poised to create prosperity for those willing to harness its unique properties. As high value, low volume uses for milkweed seed and fiber gain ground, the unique properties and attributes of milkweed for higher volume products should be explored and tested in high value nonwovens. Learn about the physical properties and possibilities of milkweed fiber along with the marketing benefits of creating value with this renewable resource that benefits people and the environment.