Intended Audience

The content of this course is tailored to the needs of NRCS, SWCD, Cooperative Extension, and state department of agriculture employees as well as crop consultants, natural resource specialists, non-governmental conservation organization staff, and producers of bee-pollinated crops.

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For questions regarding registration:

Ashley Minnerath
The Xerces Society
(855) 232-6639

Local contact:

Dave Stratman
State Biologist
Natural Resources Conservation Service
(317) 290-3200 Ext. 354


Thanks to North Central SARE, registration is free for the first 30 people. Additional seats are available for $30. Lunch is not included. Please plan on bringing a sack lunch with you to the course.

Hurry, registration closes after 100 people!

Canceled registrations can be refunded until July 18, 2011.


Thursday July 28, 2011 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM EDT

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Cardno JFNew Native Plant Nursery 
128 Sunset Drive
Walkerton, IN 46574

Driving Directions 


This Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course is made possible with the support of North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE), and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Additional support for this training is provided by the following: Aveda Earth Fund, Cardno JFNew, Ceres Foundation, CS Fund, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Dudley Foundation, Turner Foundation, Whole Systems Foundation, and Xerces Society members.

Photo Credit

By Matthew Shepherd, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.



Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course

Walkerton, Indiana
July 28, 2011
9:30 am - 4:00 pm EDT

Pollinators are essential to our environment. The ecological service they provide is necessary for the reproduction of nearly 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants and is fundamental to agriculture and natural ecosystems. More than two-thirds of the world’s crop species are dependent on pollination, with an annual estimated value of $18 to $27 billion in the United States alone. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems, since their activities are ultimately responsible for the seeds and fruits that feed everything from songbirds to black bears. Conservation of pollinating insects is critically important to preserving both wider biodiversity as well as agriculture. 

In many places, however, this essential service is at risk. In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences released the report Status of Pollinators in North America, which called attention to the decline of pollinators. The report urged agencies and organizations to increase awareness and protect pollinator habitat.

The Pollinator Conservation Planning Short Course was developed to address this need. This day long Short Course will equip conservationists, land managers, farm educators, and agricultural professionals with the latest science-based approaches to increasing crop security and reversing the trend of pollinator decline, especially in heavily managed agricultural landscapes.

Introductory topics include the principles of pollinator biology, the economics of insect pollination, basic bee field identification, and evaluating pollinator habitat. Advanced modules will cover land management practices for pollinator protection, pollinator habitat restoration, incorporating pollinator conservation into federal conservation programs, selection of plants for pollinator enhancement sites, management of natural landscapes, and financial and technical resources to support these efforts. Throughout the short course these training modules are illustrated by case studies of pollinator conservation efforts across the country.

This course will also include a tour of the Cardno JFNew Native Plant Nursery, where they have over 225 native plant species in production, including species that are important to pollinators. Seed and plant material of grasses, wildflowers, trees, and shrubs of Midwest provenance are available. Cardno JFNew also offers custom seed mixes, ecological consulting, and habitat restoration services.

Registrants will receive the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Toolkit that includes Xerces’ latest book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, as well as habitat management guidelines and relevant USDA-NRCS and Extension publications.

Thanks to support from the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, registration is free for the first 30 people.  Additional seats are available for $30. Lunch is not provided. Please plan on bringing a sack lunch with you to the course.

Canceled registrations can be refunded until July 18, 2011.

This course is the one of many being offered during the 2011 season. The Xerces Society will also be hosting similar courses in the following states: Colorado,  Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington. Visit our events page to view up-to-date short course information.


  • Ability to identify ways of increasing and enhancing pollinator diversity on the land
  • Knowledge of the current best management practices that minimize land-use impacts on pollinators
  • Ability to identify bees and distinguish them from other insects
  • Knowledge of the economics of insect-pollinated crops, and the effects of pollinator decline           
  • Knowledge of the current Farm Bill pollinator conservation provisions and how to implement those provisions through USDA programs such as WHIP, EQIP, CSP, and CRP
  • Ability to assess pollinator habitat and to identify habitat deficiencies
  • Ability to make recommendations to farmers and land managers that conserve pollinators (including subjects such as roadside management, tillage, pesticide use, burning, grazing, and cover cropping)
  • Ability to design and implement habitat improvements, such as native plant restoration and nest site enhancements
  • Ability to incorporate pollinators into land-management or policy decisions


Module 1 Introduction

  • Pollination economics and the role of native bees in commercial crop production
  • Pollination biology
  • Colony Collapse Disorder and honey bee industry trends

 Module 2 Basic Bee Biology

  • Bee identification
  • Identifying pollinator nest sites

 Module 3 Bee-Friendly Farming

  • The role of farm habitat
  • Mitigating pesticide damage
  • Protecting ground-nesting bees in cultivated fields

Module 4 Habitat Restoration

  • Habitat design considerations
  • Plant selection and seed sources (Mark O'Brien, Vice President and Nursery Director of Cardno JFNew Native Plant Nursery)
  • Planting techniques for native wildflowers
  • Long-term habitat management
  • Artificial nest sites

Module 5 Current Farm Bill Provisions

  • Using NRCS practices for pollinator conservation (Dave Stratman, NRCS State Biologist)
  • Conservation case studies

Module 6 Open Laboratory

  • Field observation and land-use discussion (outdoor tour at Cardno JF New)
  • Examination of pinned specimens, artificial nests, and display materials

Module 7  Additional Resources

Module 8 Wrap Up

  • Questions
  • Evaluations
  • Raffle


Jennifer Hopwood is the Xerces Society's Midwest Pollinator Outreach Coordinator. In this role she works to provide resources and training for pollinator habitat management, creation, and restoration to agricultural professionals and land managers. Jennifer holds a Master’s in Entomology from the University of Kansas, where her research focused on bee communities in roadside prairie plantings and prairie remnants. She has presented short courses in over ten states. Contact:


Dave Stratman is the NRCS State Biologist in Indiana, a position he has held since 1993. He has a Master's in Environmental Policy and Natural Resources Management, and is interested in the restoration of native species and promoting biodiversity on private lands. 

Mark O'Brien is Vice President and Nursery Director of Cardno JFNew Native Plant Nursery. Based in Walkerton, Indiana, Cardno JFNew has over 225 native species in production. At Cardno JFNew, Mark has been involved in numerous planting projects, and has more than 30 years of sales, business, and management experience.


The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. The Society's Pollinator Conservation Program was launched in 1996, and works with leading native pollinator ecologists to translate the latest research findings into on-the-ground conservation. More information about the Xerces Society is available at