The Native Pollinators in Agriculture Project has a speakers’ bureau that is comprised of a variety of leaders in the agriculture and pollinator fields.
Please contact us at [email protected] to inquire about a speaker for your event.
Greg Kedzierski has been the plant materials specialist at Ernst Conservation Seeds, Inc., Meadville, PA, for the past nine (9) years. He has consulted with restorationists, land managers and landscape architects in selecting the proper native seed mixes and plant materials to ensure that project stakeholders are enhancing and creating a more sustainable, ecologically sound landscape. In addition, Greg has spoken at numerous conferences and symposia on the benefits of using native species in the landscape and environment, as well as the proper techniques to ensure restoration project success.
Greg has been involved with the Crawford County Soil & Water Conservation District as a farmer director, and currently sits on the Crawford County Oil & Gas Environmental Committee and the City of Meadville Shade Tree Commission.
Before moving back to Pennsylvania, Greg was a lab and field specialist in soybean breeding at the M.T. Carter Agricultural Research Station at Virginia State University, as well as a seed analyst and truth to variety test plot manager at the Virginia Department of Agriculture.
Adrienne Mollor and her family operate and grow over 150 acres of cranberry bogs in Southeastern, Massachusetts. Adrienne was the 2010 Eisenhower Agricultural Fellow (www.efworld.org) , traveling to Uruguay and Brazil to study sustainable agriculture. She is one of two cranberry growers representing Massachusetts on Ocean Spray’s Grower Council, an advisory board to the Board of Directors. She additionally serves on the following:
- Board of Directors for Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership, a nonprofit organization, striving to preserve and expand access to local food and sustainable farming through research and education.
- State Committee member for USDA’s Farm Services Agency’s through Presidential Appointment
- Member of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers acting on their government affairs committee and public relations committees
- Participant on the Solutions from the Land Dialogue
Native pollinators are critical to the success of Adrienne’s cranberry farm. It is vital that growers introduce migratory honey bees and/or bumble bees; According to Anne Averill, Entomologist with U-Mass Cranberry Station “Similar to many other fruit crops, bees are needed for adequate pollination. Cranberry flowers are not capable of self fertilization so pollinators are required to move pollen from one flower to another.” Often, several pollination visits are needed to ensure good berry development.
Mike Omeg is a 5th generation farmer running a large conventional cherry orchard in The Dalles. But there is nothing ‘conventional’ about Mike. A scientist by training, Mike is constantly experimenting with new techniques and management practices to make his farm more sustainable. He focuses on soil health as the foundation of his orchard, largely using cover crops, mulches, compost, and other organic fertilizers instead of synthetic fertilizers. He traps for rodents and has several barn owl boxes around the farm to naturally control rodent populations. He regularly scouts for pest and diseases, using a preventative strategy to control pests with little need for pesticides. His office is run on solar power, he reuses all his motor oil to fuel his shop, & he makes his own worm compost. Mike is good to his employees- paying them living wages, providing comfortable housing, & being attentive to worker safety. Wildlife habitat in the form of native food bearing shrubs, brush piles, and untouched wild areas have always existed side-by-side with the Omeg’s orchard trees. Mike is acutely aware of how critical bees are to his orchards. Because of this, bees have always been a major consideration in Omeg’s orchard.
Steve Peterson received a bachelor’s degree in entomology from U.C. Davis and a Ph.D. in entomology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has 22 years of working with solitary bees for pollination of crops. Steve has managed alfalfa leafcutting bees for alfalfa and vegetable seed pollination, and blue orchard bees for almond and cherry pollination. In a cooperative project with USDA-ARS, Steve helped develop a chemical nest attractant for the blue orchard bee with funding from the Small Business Innovation Research grant program. He is currently part of a Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant that is exploring the value of native and managed bees and the benefits of supplemental wildflower plantings. Steve also has experience in managing honey bees and raising queen bees. Steve lives in Visalia, California with his wife and son.
Mr. Reese owns and operates Reese Farms in Scottsburg, VA, growing a variety of crops including vegetables and cucurbits. Mr. Reese also serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Agribusiness Council where he has served in a variety of leadership positions including Chairman of the Board in 2007 and was the recipient of VAC’s Distinguished Leadership Away in 2008. Mr. Reese has a long history of service to his community, conservation efforts, and the agribusiness industry. He has held leadership positions with Roanoke Farm Credit and Farm Credit of the Virginias, served as a member of the Halifax County Planning Commission, and has been a member of Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District for 34 years.
Mace Vaughan is the Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program Director and Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) West National Technology Support Center. Mace has led Xerces’ Pollinator Conservation Program since 2003 and acted as Joint Pollinator Conservation Specialist to the NRCS since 2008. In his tenure at the Xerces Society, the pollinator program has grown from a small pilot project on California farms to an $800,000 a year program implementing pollinator conservation projects across the US. Supervising eight pollinator conservation specialists across the U.S., he now oversees the largest pollinator conservation team in the country.
His work with other staff at the Xerces Society and the USDA NRCS has led to the implementation of tens of thousands of acres of pollinator habitat on farms throughout the U.S. Through education and outreach events he has directly reached thousands of agency staff and farmers. He also has expertise in working to reduce the impact of pesticides on pollinators and was invited to serve on the steering committee for an international meeting of regulators, scientists, and industry to develop improved risk assessment strategies to better protect pollinators.
Mace has written numerous articles on the conservation of bees, butterflies, aquatic invertebrates, and insects, and is co-author of the publication Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, as well as the Pollinator Conservation Handbook. He is the lead author of Farming for Bees: Guidelines for Providing Native Bee Habitat on Farms. He was a lecturer on honey bee biology and beekeeping at Cornell University, from which he holds Masters Degrees in Entomology and Teaching. Mace has conducted research into the behavior and community ecology of insects, and has worked as an insect wrangler and bee expert for PBS Nature.