Enhancing Pollination Services and Profitability: An Opportunity for U.S. Agriculture
Over the past several years awareness and subsequent concern over declines in pollinator populations have been growing, as have calls for initiatives and programs designed to rebuild populations of native pollinators and enhance the pollinator services that they provide. Leadership for most of these efforts has come largely from within the pollination stakeholder community. To date, mainline agricultural organizations have played a limited role in building policy maker support for restoration and protection measures and initiatives.
In an effort to obtain an agricultural perspective on the challenges and opportunities around pollinator population declines, a pollinator protection project was initiated in 2006 by the FFA Foundation and now operates as a special project of the National Association of State Conservation Agencies. Through the project, which was guided by a national Steering Committee composed of agricultural and conservation leaders, production agriculture took a fresh look at pollination challenges and opportunities to enhance pollination services with native pollinators.
While this project was not the first examination of challenges associated with declining pollinator populations, what is unique is that its leadership team was composed primarily of individuals either directly involved in production agriculture or who provide support services to the sector. As such, the findings and recommendations that resulted from the project were developed by individuals who produce or support the production of food, feed, and fiber. This report summarizes what these leaders had to say about this important subject.
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