International Pollinator Week 2022 is June 20-26, and Wisconsin Women in Conservation
(WiWiC) is celebrating with a FREE Women’s Summer Camp Lunch webinar on June 23 from
noon to 1pm on Zoom. All women farmers, landowners and conservationists are welcome to
attend, and enjoy presentations from local experts on the topic of “Enhancing Pollinators.”
Registration is FREE at WiWiC.org under Events.
Presenters will be Deirdre Birmingham, owner/operator of The Cider Farm in rural Mineral Point,
and Laura Jach Smith, Project Wingspan Wisconsin State Coordinator, Wisconsin NRCS
Pollinator Liaison; Pollinator Partnership. Participants will be able to ask questions live in the
Chat, and a recording of the presentation and Chat Questions and Answers will be sent to all
“Besides just being a vital part of the ecosystem, pollinators were responsible for the pollination
of our early blooming apple varieties this year. The hives that usually set on neighboring farms
did not come until thousands of our trees were done flowering. So the apples we are getting on
those trees are thanks to our wild pollinators,” said Birmingham, who has enhanced the
pollinator habitat on her certified organic property by planting a 30-acre prairie, putting prairie
strips around orchard, adding milkweed seeds for monarchs, alternating the mowing in
alleyways so every other row is flowering, enhancing beneficial insect populations, using
certified organic products, and leaving dandelions alone.
The Cider Farm offers seasonal orchard tastings, and also has The Cidery and Tasting Room
on Madison’s west side. For more information visit theciderfarm.com.
The webinar is part of WiWiC’s second year of their Conservation Summer Camp series,
monthly lunch hour Zooms held the last Thursday of each month. Topics are chosen based on
surveys at WiWiC events. The Zooms are a virtual opportunity to join women landowners from
across the state who share a passion for stewarding the land and to connect with expert advice,
resources, and opportunities.
WiWiC is a state-wide collaborative effort led by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in
partnership with Wisconsin Farmers Union, Renewing the Countryside and the Midwest Organic
and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). A three-year multi-faceted project funded by the
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), WiWiC brings together Wisconsin
women landowners to connect and learn about conservation practices, resources, and funding
opportunities. In 2021, the program engaged 1,337 participants with 17 Zoom Events and 5
Field Days, as well as 2,300 on social media through Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For
2022, the group plans 12 Learning Circles, 6 on-farm field days, 4 Conservation Summer Camp
Lunch Zooms, and various happy hours and virtual events.
Seven Regional Networks have been convened across the state through WiWiC, with the goal
of providing women’s peer-to-peer “Learning Circle” opportunities throughout the year in a
variety of settings. These events are structured to provide ample networking time, as well as
access to local conservation professionals and resources. Experienced women Conservation
Coaches provide regional mentorship. WiWiC prioritizes and funds landowner site visits and
custom Conservation Plans produced by local women conservation professionals.