Farmers around the United States are contending with the collapse of honeybee colonies they depend on to pollinate numerous crops, including many fruits, vegetables, legumes and nut trees. But growers in southern Wisconsin look to be in better shape because the Badger State is home to about 500 species of native wild bees that are excellent pollinators.
Farmers who follow food safety best practices produce better quality produce that last longer on the market and in consumers' kitchens. The harvest, storage and handling processes intended to minimize pathogens that cause illness in humans also target the organisms that cause produce to decay.
Farms that raise animals — be they poultry, pigs, cows or other livestock — are growing. But whether smaller farms are simply updated with modern technologies or are concentrated animal feeding operations with hundreds or thousands of animals, they enable farmers to reduce costs and increase output.
From loon-watchers to fighters of invasive species, Wisconsin is home to many groups engaged in citizen science. One example of a citizen science effort of this type in the state is the Wisconsin Bat Monitoring Project.