NACD welcomes USDA decision on NRCS hiring authority
WASHINGTON– On June 8, leadership from the National Association of Conservation Districts and the National Conservation Partnership sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue about the department’s decision to enable the Natural Resources Conservation Service with the authority to hire staff.
The letter was sent on behalf of the National Conservation Partnership, which includes NACD, the National Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils), the National Association of State Conservation Agencies and the National Conservation District Employees Association. The partnership commended Secretary Perdue for recognizing how important these hires will be in providing prompt customer service and effective conservation delivery to our nation’s private landowners.
“With the uncertainty in the farm economy as well as the 2018 farm bill, this decision is quite timely,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “The success of the USDA’s initiative to improve customer service is directly tied to enabling staff hires at field agencies like NRCS. These folks are a key element in the locally led, voluntary conservation model, which is why NRCS must have an appropriate number of field-based employees within USDA Service Centers and conservation district offices across America. We thank Secretary Perdue for his leadership in granting NRCS with hiring authority.”
“NACD and this partnership have advocated for months on the significance of these hires,” NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said. “NRCS employees assist landowners with conservation planning, resource assessments, and monitoring successful conservation practices. As a result of the quality financial and technical assistance from NRCS, landowners are becoming better stewards of their natural resources and contributing to healthier soil, cleaner water and improved habitat every single day.”