(USDA-NRCS/WASHINGTON/May 5, 2023) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is quickly ramping up hiring of new team members to help implement $19.5 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for conservation programs, which is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. For example, NRCS opened job announcements this week for soil conservationists. This batch of job openings is part of a broader effort by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help producers develop conservation plans and implement conservation practices, including critical climate-smart practices.
“The Inflation Reduction Act represents the single largest investment in climate and clean energy solutions in American history, and NRCS’ programs are an important part of our efforts,” said Robert Bonnie, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC). “To help agricultural producers invest in conservation on their farms, ranches and working forests, we need to grow our team that delivers our conservation programs. This next generation of conservation talent will help us build upon our long history of working one-on-one with producers to get conservation on the ground.”
NRCS soil conservationists offer conservation planning and technical help to agricultural producers, helping them implement practices that sequester carbon, mitigate against climate change and conserve other natural resources. This assistance helps producers who apply and are funded for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and others.
How to Apply
NRCS posted multiple vacancy announcements based on region:
- Central: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin;
- Northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia;
The announcements are currently open and close on May 15, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Interested candidates can find more information and apply to the job on USAjobs.gov.
To qualify as a GS 5/7/9 soil conservationist, candidates must meet the education requirements, or a combination of education and experience requirements, as outlined in the job announcement.
General qualifications for the soil conservationist job series are also available on OPM.gov. Also, watch NRCS’ recruitment video for soil conservationists or visit our Careers webpage to learn about other jobs with NRCS and other FPAC agencies.
Additionally, to help with implementation, NRCS is working with partners to hire nearly 3,000 team members in the coming years, who will also play a critical role in the conservation planning and implementation process, complementing the work done by NRCS employees.
NRCS began implementing IRA in late 2022. NRCS accepts producer applications for its conservation programs year-round, and in some states, producers can still apply for 2023 funding. Interested producers should view their state ranking dates.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.