Pollinator Conservation Training

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2009: $72,168.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: North Central
State: Wisconsin
Project Coordinator:
Eric Mader
The Xerces Society

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: application rate management
  • Education and Training: workshop
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, wildlife
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management, organic agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Recent research on crop pollination has demonstrated that native bees make a significant contribution to crop pollination—in some cases providing all pollination when enough habitat is available. To address this need for habitat, the 2008 Farm Bill contains specific language that makes pollinators a priority of USDA conservation programs. To support these new pollinator conservation priorities, we will provide nine workshops in nine states over three years for staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Extension, state agencies, farm organizations and individual farmers to address how conservation buffers and other on-farm habitats can be enhanced to increase populations of native pollinators.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    These workshops will provide real world solutions to declining pollinator populations for multiple professional perspectives, from conservation agency staff, to Extension personnel, to individual farmers.

    Past workshops in other states as diverse as California, Wisconsin, and Maine have typically had between 30 to more than 100 participants. We have found, based upon extensive anecdotal reporting, that each participant, on average, goes on to influence (either directly, or as an educator) at least 100 acres of land in a way that benefits pollinator conservation (through the modification of simple practices such as mowing, or the timing of pesticide applications).

    These workshops also typically stimulate direct participation in FSA and NRCS administered programs such as Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), and the Conservation Security Program (CSP). On average, we typically see an average of 5 new program enrollments that eventually develop out of each workshop (either through direct farmer participation, or through the encouragement and support of educators sharing their new knowledge).

    Using these assumptions, based upon extensive past experience, a single workshop with only 30 participants is likely to result in the adoption of pollinator-friendly land management practices on at least 3000 acres.

    Nine such workshops with only 30 participants may directly benefit pollinators on 27,000 acres of land and result in 45 new enrollments in NRCS and FSA administered programs.

    Every effort is made to maximize attendance beyond this baseline, however, and to have an even larger post-event impact.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.