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Mississippi State University and Iowa State University Host Bobwhite Project Field Day

Steve Dinsmore (Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology) and Ross Conover (Graduate Research Assistant) of Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management and Wes Burger (Professor of Wildlife Ecology) of Mississippi State University, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries hosted a USDA-NRCS/MSU Bobwhite Restoration Project Field Day on July 18, 2007. The “Wildlife Habitat on Agricultural Farms” field day featured a morning field tour and afternoon educational sessions held on William’s Farm in Clarksdale, MS. William’s Farm is a working agricultural farm with over 2,000 acres dedicated to various conservation practices. William’s Farm is also the primary study site used in research evaluating bobwhite and grassland songbird response to agricultural conservation programs, which is partially funded by the USDA-NRCS/MSU Bobwhite Restoration Project. The morning field tour included stops at a CP22 riparian forest buffer, a CP21 switchgrass filter strip, a CP33 field border, and CP3a and CP31 whole field afforestation. The morning field tour featured many topics of discussion including an overview of NRCS conservation programs and practice standards, establishment and management of native vegetation for wildlife, as well as the effects of various conservation programs on northern bobwhite and other wildlife communities. Following the field tour, participants returned to “The Roost” for a delicious barbeque lunch provided by the legendary Abe’s Barbecue restaurant. After lunch, attendees were able to relax in the shade and participate in discussion sessions including topics such as producer and landowner perspectives, cost-share opportunities with the NRCS, farm-scale conservation planning, and economics of conservation buffers. There were over 86 natural resources professionals and private landowners in attendance from 4 states. There were 29 participants from federal agencies (USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA-Farm Service Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA-Forest Service), 14 from state agencies (Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources), 9 private landowners and producers from Mississippi, 21 from universities and university Extension (Mississippi State University, Auburn University, and University of Tennessee), and 13 from non-governmental or private organizations (including Delta Wildlife, Regions Bank Land Trust, Farm Press, YMD Levee Board, MS Land, and Alabama Wildlife Federation).

Download the Field Day brochure, and a summary of participant reviews here.

For more information, contact:

Stephen J. Dinsmore, Ph. D.
Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
339 Science II, Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-3221
Tel: 515-294-1348
Fax: 515-294-2995
Email: cootjr@iastate.edu

Pete Heard

Pete Heard (Director of the USDA-NRCS Agricultural Wildlife Conservation Center) provided opening and closing remarks at the Mississippi State University/Iowa State University/USDA-NRCS “Wildlife Habitat on Agricultural Farms” Field Day. Over 86 natural resource professionals and private landowners were in attendance from 4 states.

Wes Burger

Wes Burger (Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Mississippi State University) discussed the ecological impacts of conservation buffers in agricultural landscapes at the first field tour stop along a CP22 Riparian Forest Buffer.

Kevin Nelms

Kevin Nelms (USDA-NRCS Area 4 Office Wildlife Biologist) discussed native vegetation establishment and management for wildlife within conservation buffers at several stops on the field tour.

Ross Conover

Ross Conover (Graduate Research Assistant at Iowa State University) demonstrated the use of radio-transmitters and telemetry to track the survival of hatchling dickcissels on William’s Farm.

Steve Dinsmore

Steve Dinsmore (Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Iowa State University) discussed the effects of CP21 Filter Strips on wildlife populations.

Duncan Williams

Duncan Williams, owner of William’s Farm and host of the “Wildlife Habitat on Agricultural Farms” Field Day, provided insight on the benefits of conservation practices from the landowner and agricultural producer perspective.

Abe's Barbecue

The legendary Abe’s Barbecue restaurant of Clarksdale, MS provided a savory lunch of barbecue pork, baked beans, and coleslaw to hungry attendees.

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