Rotary Notes:  3/7/2016
Loren Swanson
President Elect Brad Kirscher opened the meeting at 12:30 PM
Greg Carlson was the greeter and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance
The invocation was by Ted Johnson who used his experience in Sri Lanka, India and Viet Nam in conjunction with Hindu and Buddhist religious philosophies to encourage us to quiet our minds and be in the present.
Luke Ferden introduced Jane Heinks who was brought by Brad Kirscher
Jeanne Nelson who was a guest of Melanie Mogg
Kora Boisvert who is a Music and Bee enthusiast and also an EMT and guest of Deb Nygaard
Greg Carlson gave his classification speech and took us through his history in Minnesota Corrections, the National Guard, the Coast Guard, Augsburg College, his children in Norway, Sweden and Florida, his 7 Marathons, Triathlons and now his volunteering exploits.  He is one busy guy!
Note:  The District Conference is happening on May 12 and 13 at Mystic Lake. Click Here for more information.
Deb Nygaard and Jeff Norton sponsored a fund raising concert for REEP!  Thank you both for your efforts.
Melanie Mogg passed out organic lemons fresh from her tree in Arizona that she carried back to Minnesota.  She asked for a donation to REEP from those that took the lemons home.  I know from firsthand experience how good those lemons are!
Brad Kirscher introduced the speaker for the day, Kevin Cavanaugh from the U of Minnesota who spoke about domestic and wild Pollinators and what their demise would make to our world.  (Pollinators include Honey bees, bumble bees, flies, butterflies, beetles, and some bats and I’m sure there are many I have missed.) There is a progressive depletion of pollinators across the globe.  They are suffering from multiple challenges to their lives.  Virtually all of their challenges are from Man Made elements.
Their partial demise could cost the world billions of dollars in reduced production of food crops which could cause hunger at worst and higher priced food at best!  What can we avoid and change to alter this progression?
We have CRP, (Conservation Reserve Program), land that had many flowers and is now going away.  That program could be reinstated.  We have many pesticides that are adversely affecting their population.  The Neonicotinoids appear to be the major thread, however there are also several other chemicals in common use on farms and also in residential areas that adversely affect the pollinators.  We have a love of green space…..grassy areas….with no flowers and that hurts the population of the pollinators.  We treat seed with systemic chemicals before planting them and the dust from the treated seed harms the insects as well as the beneficial plants like the milkweed that is so important to the monarch butterflies ends up dying in the process.  We also use some nosema pathogens that adversely affect the insects.  We have imported the Varroa Mite from Europe and that critter attaches to insects in the pupae stage as well as the adult stage and literally sucks the life out of insects.  A Varroa Mite on a bee is the equivalent of a hubcap sized blood sucker on our chest!  These are the things we can avoid.
What can we do to affect a positive change is: Limit the non-flower grassy areas like lawns, golf courses, road side ditches, plant more flowers that are insect friendly, add flowering park areas, introduce more milkweed.  If we do these things it is like an invitation to the insects and they will respond.  I suspect we all have responsibility for some piece of land.  What does yours look like to a pollinator?
Respectfully submitted,
Loren Swanson