- 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, organic agriculture
Pollinators are essential to our environment. The service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of nearly 70 percent of the world’s flowering plants. This includes more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species, several of them major Western crops, such as alfalfa seed, sunflower, and numerous fruits and vegetables (Klein et al. 2007). Recent research has demonstrated that native bees make a significant contribution to crop pollination—in some cases providing one hundred percent of pollination when enough habitat is available (Kremen et al. 2004). Today, these native pollinators are more important than ever as honey bees become more expensive and difficult to acquire because of disease, pests, and – in the last few years – Colony Collapse Disorder. Protecting, enhancing or providing natural habitat on farms is the best way to conserve native pollinators and, at the same time support local honey bees. This 3-year project will make in-depth pollinator conservation training available to farm educators and resource conservation professionals in Western states. Specifically, the Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course will be conducted in 11 states (five in year 1 and six in year 2) with the support of multiple partner organizations including academic institutions, Extension, the NRCS and others. States where the Short Course will be presented include Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Washington.
Project objectives from proposal:
Past trainings in other states like New Hampshire and Missouri have typically had 30 to more than 100 participants. We have found, based upon extensive reporting, that each participant, on average, goes on to influence (as an educator) at least 100 acres of land in a way that benefits pollinator conservation.
Using these assumptions, based upon extensive past experience, a single Short Course with only 30 participants is likely to result in the adoption of some pollinator-friendly land management practices on at least 3000 acres. Eleven such events with only 30 participants may directly benefit pollinators on 33,000 acres of land.