Published Sep 29, 2016

Workshop Recap: On-Farm Pollinator Habitat with Xerces Society

By Liz Kolbe

A group of farmers and landowners gathered in Tripoli’s Bremer County Extension office to join PFI and the Xerces Society for a full day of pollinators and on-farm habitat. Sarah Foltz Jordan, a pollinator conservation specialist with Xerces, gave a presentation in the morning, discussing pollinator diversity, strategies for attracting different species, and examples of on-farm habitat installations Xerces has helped with. After lunch, the group visited two nearby farms that are implementing different strategies to support pollinator health. At Genuine Faux Farm, Rob and Tammy Faux showed their annual flower strips, re-established prairie, shrub corridors, and un-mowed clover areas, in addition to the fruit and vegetable crops. The group practiced a habitat assessment created by the Xerces Society to look for seasonal or structural gaps in the farm’s habitat. After Faux Farm, the group went to Steve Schmidt’s farm, where Justin Meissen from the Tallgrass Prairie Center joined the group to assess Steve’s CRP pollinator plantings that were seeded in December 2015.

Thanks to the attendees, farmer hosts, speakers, and Bremer County Extension for the use of their building!

Lunch featured many member-farmers, including Lacewing Acres, Red Granite Farm, Berry Patch, Genuine Faux Farm, and Dan Specht’s blonde and blue sweet corn grown by Lizard Lake Organics.