More than 300 people attended the seventh annual Agroforestry Symposium, hosted by University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry, held Jan. 28 at the Bond Life Sciences Center on the MU campus.
The symposium featured several experts in the field of pollinators and agroforestry, which were the areas of focus for the event – “The Future of Pollinators: Why Agroforestry Matters.”
“The symposium went extraordinarily well and was well attended by a diverse group of stakeholders, including landowners, professionals, scientists and students,” said Shibu Jose, director of the Center for Agroforestry.
Topics covered included creating and protecting pollinator habitat, pollinator conservation and beekeeping. A big focus was showcasing how individuals can use agroforestry to help build and improve pollinator habitat.
“The speakers were some of the best in their field, and it was such a rare treat to listen to so many experts on pollinators the same day,” Jose said. “I was not only please and impressed by the talented speakers, but also by the committed and engaging audience we had on site.”
A panel discussion and poster session was also held during the symposium. The panel featured five members who explored the topic of public/private partnerships for pollinator conservation. Scott Hoffman Black, from the Xerces Society, was on the panel and also served as the keynote speaker.
“The event went very well – without a hitch,” said Gregory Ormsby Mori, education and outreach coordinator of the Center for Agroforestry. “The speakers, panel discussion, exhibitors and the poster session all came together smoothly. We were very fortunate to have such an excellent group of speakers.”
The symposium was also broadcast via livestream. More than 1,700 people tuned in to that stream from around the world.
“Agroforestry, as part of a multifunctional working landscape, helps combine the production and conservation functions of the land,” Jose said. “Several of the speakers illustrated how agroforestry practices can be utilized as habitats for pollinators and as biological shields protecting sensitive pollinator habitats from spray drifts and other pollutants that may directly harm pollinators.”
Agroforestry is intensive land-use management combining trees and/or shrubs with crops and/or livestock. Agroforestry practices help landowners diversify products, markets, and farm income; improve soil and water quality; and reduce erosion, non-profit source pollution and damage due to flooding.
For more information about the Center for Agroforestry, visit centerforagroforestry.org/.