NRCS Outreach Coordinators
•Started as the Soil Erosion Service in 1933 by Hugh
Hammond Bennett ‘…if we take care of the land, it will
take care of us…’;
•Renamed the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) on April
•Renamed the Natural Resources Conservation Service
(NRCS) in 1994;
•Celebrated it’s 75th
anniversary on April 27, 2010;
•NRCS currently has over 11,000 employees with an
annual budget of $5B.
NRCS programs help people help the land by:
•Protecting the soil, reducing soil erosion, improving
forage, reducing damage from floods and natural
•Protecting water, enhancing water supplies and
improving water quality;
•Increasing and improving wildlife habitat;
•Providing technical advice;
•Providing cost share payments.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE – Conservation planning to
address on-farm natural resource issues.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE – Providing cost share
payments to implement the conservation plan.
Cooperative Agreement between Virginia State
University (VSU) and the Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS):
Cooperative Agreement signed January, 2010;
Two Outreach Coordinators hired in February, 2010;
Cooperative agreement renewed in September, 2010 and
extended to October, 2011.
The 2008 Farm Bill allocated up to 10% of conservation cost share funds
to Historically Underserved (HU) landowners. They are defined as:
1) Limited Resource Farmers – based on income guidelines;
2) Socially Disadvantaged (minority) Farmers:
a. American Indians
b. African Americans
d. Asians/Pacific Islanders
3) New and Beginning Farmers – in operation for 10 years or less.
Work with Farm Service Agency, VA Cooperative Extension
Service, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, VA Dept. of Conservation
and Recreation, VA Dept. of Forestry, VA Dept. of Game and
Inland Fisheries and local soil and water conservation districts to
increase NRCS participation levels;
Work with community leaders, churches, civic organizations,
agricultural industries, farmer’s associations, farmer’s markets,
master gardeners and master naturalists to increase NRCS
Make all landowners aware that technical assistance from
NRCS is always available.
FARM BILL (Food,
Conservation and Energy
Act of 2008)
Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race,
color, religion, sex, age, veteran status, national origin, disability, or political
affiliation. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance
of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia State University, Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.
Wondi Mersie, Interim/Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State,
Petersburg; Mark McCann, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech,