First Dung Beetle Field Day Linn, Missouri, June 18, 2009
DVD $25 including postage
Ralph Voss (photo: below left with shovel) invited the movers and shakers for dung beetle conservation to Linn for a seminar (photo: right) and field day to share ideas about dung beetles and their role biological systems for animal well being.
Ralph Voss, Voss Land & Cattle Co., LP, Linn, MO hosted and moderated.
Dr. Will Winter, DVM, holistic veterinarian with Thousand Hills Cattle Company, Minneapolis, MN, spoke about how to eliminate cattle parasites without killing soil livestock.
Mark Sturges, Oregon compost tea/dung beetle evangelist, discussed dung beetles he sees as a result of having an extremely high grade of compost. Mark also spoke about compost tea.
Dr. Pat Richardson, University of Texas at Austin, Section of Integrative Biology
spoke on the poop cycle and research on value of dung beetles. Watch excerpt about the poop cycle.
Dr. Dick Richardson, Dr. Pat’s husband, also a professor at the Center for Integrative Biology in Austin made comments.
Dr. Jim Nardi from the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois spoke about Dung beetle ID
Greg Judy , ultra high stock density grazier from Missouri and author of Comeback Farms. He spoke about the way to have dung beetles is to not kill them.
Ron Whitehurst, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Ventura, CA explored networking to facilitate the conservation and distribution of dung beetles.
[Left: Looking for beetles in poop Center: Pat finds beetle Right: Dr. Will Winter]
After the morning seminar with the above presentations, the afternoon was spent at the Voss farm six miles east of Linn. Ralph led the group around his pasture while experts shared their knowledge about how to find and classify the dung beetles living there. It was thrilling to see such a large group of visionaries discussing how to re-establish these extremely valuable insects that have been eliminated from many farms due to de-worming, herbicide applications to pasture, and other inputs toxic to dung beetles.
Rincon-Vitova's interest in solutions to fly problems for organic farms has sparked scores of calls from producers about where to get dung beetles. There are many kinds of dung beetles suited to different areas and conditions and commercial production may not be feasible. There is a need to network so that those with a surplus can sell to those who need that particular species. Rincon-Vitova through a new blog Fly Control Buzz, will foster networking about study, conservation and distribution of dung beetles.
For now we applaud this first field day as seminal to the gradual development of a new era in dung beetle conservation and the distribution of beetles. We produced this video for the many dung beetle enthusiasts who could not attend the field day. Our hope is that as many people as possible can learn how to manage these fascinating beetles to improve fly control, reduce disease and improve pasture.