13th Annual NAPPC International Conference Recap

13th Annual NAPPC International Conference in Washington DC was a huge success! We had a full house of pollinator stakeholders working together to promote the health and conservation of pollinators. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

On behalf of our co-host, the Department of the Interior, we want to take this opportunity to thank all of our wonderful sponsors, honorary hosts, and the Organization of American States and the American Farm Bureau Federation for their beautiful venues. With all of our combined efforts, we can make a difference.

Highlights of the Conference include keynote addresses by renowned pollinator scientist and author Dr. Gary Nabhan and Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Michael Bean spoke on the need for policy to protect pollinators and Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Tom Tidwell provided insight into how balanced land management can support pollinator conservation in America’s forests.

Check out a recap of the conference with pictures, media releases and our honorary hosts and sponsors.


2013 Pollinator Farmer-Rancher Award Winners

Bryan and Cathy Gilvesy – Y U Ranch, Tilsonburg ON CANADIAN-FARMER RANCHER

The Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to pollinator protection, conservation, and issue outreach resulting in increased awareness of the importance of pollinators and pollination within the agricultural community. This special award is co-sponsored by Pollinator Partnership Canada and the Canadian Federation for Agriculture.

Bryan Gilvesy, and his wife Cathy, started farming tobacco in Norfolk County in 1979. A declining tobacco market signaled the move to cattle ranching. They have been raising Texas Longhorns for over fifteen years. A sustainable land ethic always governed their operation, but in 2008 Bryan attended a Pollination Guelph symposium where they learned about the importance of providing pollinator habitat on farms and other areas. That year, they put in a 2000 ft pollinator hedgerow and bee nesting habitat. Beef doesn’t require pollination, but the additional on-site and off-site benefits and ecosystem services provided by bees, butterflies, moths, and beetles, improve the local ecology. Things just seem to run better, and this translates into food that just tastes and feels better.

Josiah and Valer Austin – El Coronado Ranch and Cuenca de los Ojos USA FARMER-RANCHER

The NAPPC-NACD Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to pollinator protection, conservation, and issue outreach resulting in increased awareness of the importance of pollinators and pollination within the agricultural community. This special and new award, presented for the first time this year, sheds light on the contributions of American farmers to natural and cultural resource preservation.

Pollinators are high on the radar for Josiah and Valer Austin who have been farming and ranching for pollinators for over a decade. The Austin’s are working toward sustainable models of conservation and productivity in cattle production with managed grazing. Their goal is to promote sustainable ranching both in the United States and Mexico, ranching that feeds the industry and supports local ecosystems. When managed correctly, reduced grazing can have dramatic positive effects on the diversity of pollinators. The Austin’s have promoted their pollinator grazing system on their properties in Arizona, Texas, Montana, and Northern Mexico, where they also encourage pollinators by planting pollinator-attractive vegetation and increasing nesting habitat. Their participation in monitoring and documenting the diversity of pollinators on their properties has established a valuable baseline for pollinator dynamics in semi-natural environments

2013 Pollinator Advocate Awards

The Pollinator Advocate Award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to pollinator protection, conservation, and issue outreach resulting in increased awareness of the importance of pollinators and pollination. Each year a deserving individual or organization in Canada, the United States, and Mexico is recognized for the work they have done to support pollinators.

Alderville First Nation

Pollinators support local ecosystems, and these ecosystems support our culture. Living apart from nature often makes us forget that they way we speak, the foods we eat, the art we produce, and the culture we have came to us from our natural surrounding. This fundament fact is at the root of the cultural and landscape preservation carried out by the Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna. A simple action back in 2002, the seeding of crop land with native species, has returned and revived not only a local landscape but an ecosystem. Today it flourishes with partnerships: plants and people, plants and pollinators. Sharing the landscape and working together to support community is embodied in this program.

Virginia Webb

Virginia is a voice for pollinator awareness and conservation in Georgia. Her passion for educating people about the value of our pollinators has inspired beekeepers in their practice, as well as land managers and how their actions affect pollinators, and has raised the awareness of what collective and individual actions are necessary to continue to enjoy the benefits that pollinators bring. Recognized as an agribusiness celebrity due to their award of the “best honey in the world” award twice in the last decade, she has established herself as leader in guiding the way towards our future in agriculture and inspires local youth of how to start and craft your own niche market farm business.

Roque Arroyo Rodríguez

Roque Arroyo Rodríguez has rediscovered the lost art of keeping stingless bees and is playing a key role in their local conservation in Puebla, Mexico. The traditional practice of stingless beekeeping, or meliponiculture, dates back to Mayan times, but has significantly declined over the past few decades and is a cultural aspect that is at risk of disappearing. Stingless bees produce sweet, light honey from native forest plant species. Their honey is valued both nutritionally and medicinally and can provide a viable income source to stingless beekeepers. In 2006 Roque Arroyo Rodríguez develop a local stingless beekeeping cooperative, Texochco Sentekitini, in Sierra Norte de Puebla, México. The Texochco Sentekitini cooperative has twelve members that keep bees, and has grown so much that contract pollination services can be provided to growers of local fruits. This all generates income that can support families and the community. Roque and Texochco Sentekitini are proving the value of pollinator conservation and management in Mexico.

Louie Schwartzberg
Wings of Life

In 2011, Director Louie Schwartzberg composed a beautiful love story that is in danger. Pollinators and plants have evolved over millions of years to be codependent. Our future depends on this love story between the flowers and pollinators because more than 90% of our food wouldn’t make it to our plate without them and nearly every terrestrial landscape would senesce. In Wings of Life, Louie Schwartzberg presented this message of our total dependence on pollinators with splendor and grace. Audiences were stunned by the beauty and came away with a deeper understanding of why we need to protect these natural resources. The Paul Growald Media Award is a special award that is not presented every year. Pollinator Partnership awards this honor only when a Pollinator Advocate uses power of media to support pollinators. Wings of Life is a true representation of how powerful a deeper look at plants and their pollinators can, acting as a global call to action for their conservation.

A very special thanks to ALL of our sponsors and honorary hosts in 2013!