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CSREES Celebrates National Pollinator Week

Jennifer Martin, CSREES Staff, (202) 720-8188

June 21, 2007

The USDA and the U.S. Senate have named June 24-30, 2007, National Pollinator Week in recognition of the importance of pollinator species to agriculture, forest and grassland environments and other ecosystems.

Pollinator species, such as bees, birds and insects, are essential to produce much of our food supply; they pollinate 75 percent of all crops grown in the United States. Without pollination, most plants could not produce fruit nor set seed, and many foods we eat would no longer be available. Pollinators are worth $20 billion annually in U.S. agricultural products and contribute to the economic well-being of agricultural producers.

Pollination also plays a vital role in the heath of our national forests and grasslands, which provide forage, fish and wildlife, timer, water, mineral resources and recreational opportunities, as well as enhanced economic development opportunities for communities. Additional pollinator species provide significant environmental benefits that are necessary to maintain healthy, biodiverse ecosystems.

USDA events scheduled during National Pollinator Week:

  • CSREES is hosting a seminar by Dr. Mark Kraemer, of Virginia State University, on the Blue Orchard Bee. The seminar will be held at the Waterfront Centre (800 9th St. S.W., Washington, DC) on June 26 at 1:30 p.m.
  • USDA will host a reception at the USDA Whitten Patio (1400 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, DC) featuring Dr. E.O. Wilson, June 27 at 6 p.m.
  • An unveiling of the new Pollinator Exhibit at the U.S. Forest Service Visitors' Center (1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC) will take place from 10-11 a.m. on June 28, featuring the Forest Service Chief, Gail Kimbell. The visitors' center will be open to the public starting at 11 a.m.
  • The U.S. Postal Service will hold a 1st Day of Issue Ceremony for the new Pollination stamp series, at the USDA Whitten Patio (1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC) at 10 a.m. June 29, and will feature Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and Postmaster General John Potter.

Various events are scheduled nationwide. Visit the Pollinator Partnership Web site at http://www.pollinator.org for a listing of events in your area.

USDA is part of the Pollinator Partnership, a public-private partnership to increase pollinator awareness and promote pollinator-friendly practices.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System. For more information, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov for more information.