All Contributions Count

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When it comes to conservation and preservation, that’s the belief of Jennifer Eggemeyer, manager of the Missouri-based Pure Air Natives.

Seed World: What is your favorite movie and why?
Jennifer Eggemeyer: “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” My mom and I would watch it together when I was young; the memories of those times of laughter together puts a smile on my face every time I think about it.

SW: Why did you choose to work in native seeds?
JE: From growing up on a vegetable farm and being outdoors, to my love of backyard gardening, I’ve always taken a special interest in flowers and growing plants from seeds. The opportunity to create my own mixes using some of my favorite native species was a bonus. The native seed community is full of some great people and having the chance to work with them has been the greatest reward by far.

SW: What do you think is the biggest threat to preservation efforts?
JE: If people don’t understand what conservation is and how they might help, it could end up being a threat. We need to educate individuals about natives and their benefits to our natural habitat. It really is possible for everyone to contribute; they just need to know how.

SW: What is your favorite hobby, and how does it influence your work?
JE: Gardening is definitely my favorite hobby. It’s very therapeutic and relaxing. I could literally spend the entire day outside with my hands in the dirt, whether it be planting, pulling weeds or walking my property to see if any new species have popped up. One of my more recent enjoyments is taking my children along on rides through the country and identifying all the different native species we come across.

SW: What is one thing you think people need to know about conservation efforts?
JE: No effort is too small. The smallest of backyard gardens makes a difference just as acres of prairie restoration or wildlife habitat plantings make a difference. Use what’s available to you in order to contribute. Contact your local government conservation agency and see what can be done in your area.

SW: What is one challenge you think Pure Air Natives will face this year?
JE: A challenge that we have faced and one we foresee will continue is having the supply to meet the demand of local sourced native seed. Although seed can be sourced from many locations, it is proven that local ecotype seed is the most beneficial in providing essentials for the environment and wildlife.

SW: Do you have a motto that influences your work?
JE: Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willingness is not enough; we must do.

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