WICHITA, Kan. — The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) is excited to announce our Pollinators on the Plains conference to be held online on Friday, February 5, 2021, from 8:30 am – 4 pm CST. The virtual event will cover a range of pollinator topics, including beekeeping methods and strategies, innovative regional pollinator-based community initiatives, the intersection of pollinators with farming and ranching, and information on the impacts of pesticides on pollinators.
For a complete agenda and to register, please visit – https://kansasruralcenter.org/pollinators-on-the-plains/.
To help offset the negative impacts of the pandemic, we are offering a 25% discount to attend the event. $15 will get you a virtual seat at the conference, access to some presentations after the event, and a paper copy of KRC’s soon-to-be-published Plains’ Pollinator Resources: Keeping Bees and Protecting Pollinators in Kansas, which will be mailed to you in February. To register, please visit http://bit.ly/KRCbees2021.
For students, beginning farmers or beekeepers, and anyone for whom the registration fee is an obstacle, scholarships are available. Please fill out this scholarship form at http://bit.ly/KRCbeesapplication, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A keynote presentation will be given by Sarah Red-Laird, Executive Director of Bee Girl, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to educate and inspire communities to conserve bees, their flowers, and our countryside,” Red-Laird is also Northwest Farmers Union president. Red-Laird will talk about utilizing regenerative practices in her beekeeping operation, and the intersection between bees and grazing lands.
Dr. Leo Sharashkin, editor of “Keeping Bees with a Smile” and founder of Horizontal Hive, will talk about natural beekeeping and his unique hive design and method for capturing swarms to populate his hives.
Breakout sessions will include beginning beekeeping basics with Becky and Steve Tipton, Master Beekeepers and longtime leaders in both Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers Association and Kansas Honey Producers Association. The Center for Rural Affairs will discuss their project involving a variety of alternate hive types, and North American Pollinator Alliance founder, Jorge Garibay, will discuss his unique hive system and vision for repopulating Kansas ag lands with honeybees.
Daniel Raichel, NRDC Staff Attorney, Pollinator Initiative, Wildlife Division, will talk about the impacts of pesticides on pollinators and how some Midwestern communities are being impacted by pesticide-treated seeds.
Candy Thomas, USDA-NRCS Soil Health Specialist for Kansas and Nebraska, will talk about agricultural practices that are beneficial for pollinators, and a panel of farmers and native plant specialists will discuss pollinator habitat at different scales.
Alfonso Leyva, who works for the City of Manhattan, Kansas, will discuss the city’s Pollinator Pockets project, which aims to increase pollinator habitat within the city by adding or increasing pollinator plants throughout the park system in Manhattan. Dr. Marion Pierson and Brian Reeves, from the MO Hives KC project, will give an overview of their project which turns vacant lots into apiaries.
Pollinators on the Plains is the kick-off event for KRC’s 2021 Farm & Food Conference series. Our annual in-person Farm & Food Conference was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. In order to provide as much in-depth information and interaction as possible during this continued time of limited contact, we are choosing to host a series of online events, each focusing on a particular topic. This will allow us to get together and to dive deeper on a number of topics. We hope that it might be possible to meet in person by November 2021 and are keeping all options open.
In the meantime, please plan to join us for:
Pollinators in the Heartland – February 5, 2021
Local Food Systems & Farm to School – May 2021
Soil Health to Human Health – July/August 2021
An NCR-SARE project track will be included in the later events.
For more information as we have it, please visit https://kansasruralcenter.org/2021-conference/.
If you would like to sponsor our 2021 conference series, please visit – https://kansasruralcenter.org/2021-conference-sponsorship/.
The Pollinators on the Plains conference is made possible with funding from the Ceres Trust. KRC would also like to thank Julie Elfving for her support for our pollinator programming.
— Kansas Rural Center
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