Nichols selected as NRCS State Rangeland Management Specialist
New leadership has been selected to focus on Nebraska rangeland conservation services
LINCOLN, Neb. — Jeff Nichols has been selected as the State Rangeland Management Specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Nebraska. He will begin the position June 21, 2021.
As an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the NRCS provides opportunities for agricultural producers and landowners to voluntarily implement conservation practices that benefit their land needs. Nebraska has 22 million acres of range and pastureland that are utilized to support its cattle industry. An industry that accounted for $6.5 billion in sales last year. Therefore, rangeland management is a critical focus of Nebraska’s resource conservation efforts.
The State Rangeland Management Specialist is the primary leadership position for all NRCS rangeland programs. This includes a variety of duties such as training employees, developing/distributing technical information, maintaining relationships with stakeholders/partner organizations, and providing an advisory capacity to various committees and groups.
Nichols brings to this position 34 years of experience with an agronomy and range management background. He will be leading the NRCS in providing technical assistance on issues that occur on grazing lands such as invasive species, drought, wildfires, hail, and pest loss. Emphasis will be placed upon promoting grazing management strategies that are profitable for producers, while maintaining or improving the overall health of the grazing lands resource.
He plans to place an immediate focus on efforts to slow the Eastern Red Cedar encroachment affecting much of the state’s rangelands. This is an area of specialty he has had success dealing with previously through brush management in combination with prescribed burning.
In 2010, he was presented the NRCS National Rangeland Conservationist of the Year award, recognizing his significant contributions in assisting customers and providing leadership in the range management discipline. Focusing on the human resource, he plans to update employees and range stakeholders so they can carry out the NRCS mission of “helping people help the land” and promote long-term rangeland sustainability.
“I’m looking forward to working with the public and employees to be able to provide consistent services, information, and assistance in our grazing programs and partnerships with landowners and other organizations,” Nichols said.
For more information about rangeland conservation and other programs and services available from NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center or ne.nrcs.usda.gov.
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