If you’re a Quail Forever member (and if you’re reading these words that means you are...) you’ve probably seen the term “Farm Bill biologist” mentioned quite a bit in these pages, or perhaps online while reading a story on this website. Maybe you saw the term used in a post on the Quail Forever Facebook page or the Quail Forever Instagram account.
But what exactly is a Farm Bill biologist? What do they do? Where can you find one? If you’ve always wondered about what a Farm Bill biologist is, but didn’t know who or where to ask, then read on...
Why do we call them Farm Bill Biologists?
Simply put, because Quail Forever Farm Bill biologists are here to help private landowners navigate numerous federal Farm Bill programs like EQIP, CSP, and CRP, along with providing landowners with technical assistance to help improve their property for wildlife.
What do they do? What services do they offer?
Farm Bill biologists assist land managers in designing, developing, and funding habitat improvement projects. They offer their expert knowledge of federal, state, and local habitat programs to assist land managers with designing, developing, and funding habitat improvements on their property.
How long have they been around, and how many of them are there?
Our Farm Bill biologist program originally started in South Dakota back in 2005, and we currently have over 200 of these positions on staff all across quail range.
Where do they work?
Farm Bill biologists work out of local USDA service centers in priority habitat areas throughout the quail range.
Do they charge for their services?
No, the services offered by QF Farm Bill biologists are free of charge.
Why does QF offer this service?
When it comes to developing wildlife habitat, one of the biggest limitations for landowners is the knowledge of what programs and resources are available for their property. Farm Bill biologists educate landowners and provide the technical assistance necessary to help land managers design and complete quality habitat projects from start to finish. This successful model has resulted in the development of over one million acres of quality habitat year after year.
Do they work on more than quail?
Yes! These men and women work to conserve critical habitats for a wide variety of species which include pheasants and quail, but also include pollinators and monarchs, lesser prairie chicken, sage grouse, just to name a few.
Do any of them specialize in fire or forestry?
Yes! Quail Forever employs staff that specialize in forestry and forest management as well as the coordination and delivery of prescribed fire.
Do they work on public lands?
Yes! In states such as Kansas and South Dakota, PF/QF has partnered to deploy Habitat Specialists that work the state fish and wildlife agencies to help manage public lands for wildlife habitat.
What do you have to do to become a Farm Bill biologist for QF?
Biologists specialize in fish, forest, wildlife and range management. They are required to have a minimum of a four-year degree within one of those fields of study as well as applicable work experience.
How are they supported?
Our positions are supported through state and national partnerships with USDA, state wildlife agencies, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and our chapters.
How do you find one?
You can click the Find a Biologist tab
on the website to see all our positions and their coverage areas.
To read another great Quail Forever story about "finding your wild" in these difficult times, click here!
Looking for a great tip to improve quail habitat on your property. Check out this story!