We wanted your input, and you responded.  Thank you.  


Putting conservation to work on the landscape does not happen overnight. And, it does not happen without the support of the landowners who get involved – whether through incorporating conservation into their farming practices, protecting water resources, enrolling in voluntary conservation programs, removing invasive species from their land, and/or encouraging butterflies, bees, birds, and wildlife through their land management choices. Conservation work is not just about the land, it is about the people who care for their land.  Making decisions on a farm, whether one's only income source or one of many, and on recreational property is not always straight forward and simple.  We know that.  We asked you questions about what guides your decisions.  Here is what you said.  


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What makes people tick? What gets farmers and landowners get excited about – or step away from – conservation?

Conservation work is not just about the land, it is about the people who care for their land. 

In order to do our job of conservation and sustainable agriculture better, the Network is putting resources, personnel, and time into learning about the people we work with and for. 

We are distributing a survey to 350 landowners in our target areas requesting information on their conservation practices and program enrollment, share their farm conservation practices, and what they feel are the needs of rural landowners in the area.  


We have interviewed community leaders, educators, and resource conservation professionals (anonymously or otherwise) in our network area about three broad issues:

  1. farming practices and conservation practices on area farms;

  2. streams, surface water, and ground water, and

  3. awareness and attention to issues that link us to the global concern of declining bird and pollinator populations. 

With data to aid us in understanding the local constituency and the issues of most concern to them, we can begin to better serve the community with our outreach messages, our educational efforts, and the programs that we provide. 

This project is supported by the Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative Small Grant Program and the Food Faith and Farming Network.

USFWS Midwest

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