Clearview Farm’s pollinator garden is a welcoming place for the community to visit, enjoy, and learn about plants and pollinators native to Illinois. The garden’s convenient location is on Olympian Drive in northwest Champaign.
We proudly to partnered with Mahomet-Seymour FFA to expand the impact of this educational space during construction. Mahomet-Seymour High School’s agriculture courses emphasize learning by doing. Agriculture students participated in the planting of the almost 1,000 pollinator plants in Clearview Farm’s garden. Students learned about pollinator plants, gardening techniques, and more throughout the process.
Work based learning
Addie Lagacy, a member of the Mahomet-Seymour FFA Chapter tended to the nearly 1,000 pollinator plants during a four-month period in which plants grew from tiny plugs to gallon-sized pots ready to transplant into Clearview Farm’s garden. Addie’s dedication and application of horticultural skills were essential as planting healthy, mature plants increases plants’ chance of survival. Addie also collaborated with Clearview Farm staff in organizing and leading a group of peers who volunteered to plant the garden.
Addie’s involvement at Clearview Farm is part of her supervised agricultural experience (SAE), an intra-curricular component of agricultural education emphasizing the value of work-based learning.
Button: Learn more about the Mahomet-Seymour FFA Chapter (Linked to their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mahometseymourffa )
Pollinators and Farming
Pollinators are vital to agriculture, with approximately 75% of global food crops relying to some extent on pollination by animals. These crops contribute to over $200 billion in global agricultural production annually. Beyond the economic value, pollinators are directly responsible for the production of numerous essential foods in our diets, including fruits like apples, strawberries, and blueberries, as well as vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash. The dependency on pollinators underscores their critical role in ensuring the availability and diversity of nutritious foods that support human nutrition and food systems worldwide.
Do common Illinois crops like corn and soybeans rely on pollinators?
While corn and soybeans are wind-pollinated crops and do not rely as heavily on animal pollinators as some other crops, pollinators still play an indirect but essential role in their cultivation. Both corn and soybeans benefit from healthy ecosystems that support pollinator populations.
Although corn and soybeans may not rely directly on pollinators for their reproduction, their health and productivity are intertwined with the broader ecosystem, which means pollinators are still vital for agricultural crops as a whole.
Farmers care about pollinators.
Farmers around the world are increasingly demonstrating a strong commitment to pollinator conservation. Recognizing the critical role that pollinators play in their agricultural systems, many farmers are adopting practices and initiatives aimed at supporting these essential creatures.
One common approach is the establishment of pollinator-friendly habitat within or around their fields. Farmers are planting wildflowers, native plants, and cover crops that provide nectar and pollen for pollinators, creating a more inviting environment. This not only benefits pollinators but also enhances the overall biodiversity of the farming landscape, contributing to ecosystem resilience.
Furthermore, farmers are adopting sustainable and pesticide-reduction practices to protect pollinators from harmful chemicals. Integrated pest management (IPM) strategies are being employed to minimize the impact of pesticides on non-target species like bees and butterflies.
Some farmers are also engaging in partnerships with conservation organizations and participating in programs that provide guidance and resources for pollinator-friendly farming. By joining forces with scientists, researchers, and local communities, farmers are actively contributing to broader efforts aimed at pollinator conservation and the long-term health of our ecosystems.
In essence, farmers’ commitment to pollinators is a testament to their dedication to sustainable agriculture and the recognition that thriving pollinator populations are not just essential for the environment but also for the success and resilience of their farms.