Photo by Daniel Mahoney
Become a Better Land Steward at Workshop for Non-Operating Landowners
By Josh Pommier, Pheasant Forever Minnesota Senior Farm Bill Biologist
Central Minnesota is home to scenic lakes, rolling hills, farmland and quaint farmsteads. Balancing clean lakes and profitable farming can be a delicate balancing act. In the tale that follows, the names are changed but the story is real.
Dave and Mara are balancing this act in a professional and ethical manner. Dave is a lifelong farmer, and Mara is a family friend who owns land adjacent to one of Minnesota’s scenic lakes. Dave rents and farms Mara’s land. In 30+ years of conversations, Dave learned that Mara has a heart for butterflies and wildlife.
With recent years’ changing climate and intense rainfall events, the cropped hillside behind Mara’s home started eroding. Despite Dave practicing good soil health practices, the soil was not staying put. After several conversations with the local PF Farm Bill Biologist, Dave presented Mara with the idea of placing the hillside into a pollinator friendly Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practice that met Dave’s goal of conserving the soil from washing into the lake and met Mara’s goal of having butterfly habitat outside her home.
This success story of soil health and butterfly (pheasant) habitat is made possible because both parties had open lines of communication and knew when it was time to connect with local conservation experts.
Photo by Josh Pommier
As a way to help more connections like this success story take place, Pheasants Forever is bringing conservation experts to the 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Minneapolis.
The workshop runs from 9am to 12:15pm on February 17. Signs at the show entrance will direct you to the workshop room; or ask a staff member where to go. Pheasants Forever is bringing soil health experts, precision agriculture experts, farm bill program experts, farm lease experts and land stewardship experts to this impactful three-hour workshop. There is no cost, but you must pre-register at the link below to attend.
Landowners will leave this event with an understanding of why taking care of their soil will result in better wildlife habitat … and with skills to create wildlife habitat on their property, a toolbox of options for better communication with their renter, and an understanding of why we are merely stewards of this land for the next generation.
The 2023 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis on February 17-19. Tickets and more information can be found at: PheasantFest.org.