Pollinator and CRP Field Day to Be Held near Fairfield June 27

Learh how to maintain CRP perennial vegetation, including trees and shrubs

June 7, 2024, 2:04 pm | Elizabeth Ripley

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms will host a pollinator and Conservation Reserve Program field day Thursday, June 27, from 10:30 to 12:30 p.m. at Pete Tollenaere’s farm near Fairfield. The free event is open to farmers and landowners and includes a complimentary meal.

Partners include Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Pathfinders RC&D and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Prairie flowers.This field day aims to assist farmers and landowners with establishing and maintaining Conservation Reserve Program perennial vegetation, including trees and shrubs. These areas offer many benefits including pollinator habitat, reducing soil erosion from sensitive areas, building soil health, improving wildlife and providing beauty to the landscape.

Jefferson County farmer and host Pete Tollenaere will share how he has incorporated and managed perennial vegetation on his farm. Kevin Andersen, Iowa DNR state private lands biologist, will also discuss tips for successful establishment and management to ensure diversity and plentiful pollinator habitat. Cassidy Widner, Iowa DNR forester, will highlight different flowering trees and shrubs that can help attract pollinators, and Doug Ensminger, Jefferson County NRCS district conservationist, will highlight different farm bill programs available to assist with establishing pollinator perennial vegetation.

The event will be held at Pete Tollenaere’s farm, located just west of 2497 Kelp Ave., Fairfield, and will be held rain or shine. The farm is located on the north side of the road marked with a tree farm sign (and field day signs will mark the driveway to enter). Insect repellent will be provided and attendees are encouraged to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

The event is free and open to farmers and landowners, though reservations are required to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP, contact Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or ilf@iastate.edu. Attendees will be entered in a drawing for ISU Prairie Strips honey.

This field day is supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.

Shareable photo: Prairie flowers. Diverse perennial vegetation provide great habitat for pollinators while also reducing soil erosion and improving water quality.

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