Above: Lisa Buckner, District Conservationist, Waconia, Minn. Field Office shows students how to set up a laser level as part of an educational event. Photo: Julie MacSwain.
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week, Secretary Vilsack and the NRCS Soil Science Division honored the winning
students and coaches from the inaugural International Soil Judging Contest hosted in Jeju, Korea, in June.
Two teams from the U.S. participated in the competition and earned the first and second
highest team scores.
NRCS celebrated the success of the U.S.
teams by inviting the eight students and two coaches to travel to Washington,
D.C., and meet with Secretary Vilsack, tour headquarters and attend a
reception honoring their achievements.
People’s Gardens have expanded to all 50 states, three U.S.
territories – including Puerto Rico – and eight foreign countries.
Read how Puerto Rico’s First Lady Wilma Pastrana Jiménez’s garden was the first People’s Garden at a
Puerto Rico state government facility, and the third on the island, here.
On May 4, 1961, thirteen
courageous Americans from different racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds
engaged in the first Freedom Rides.
These Freedom Riders made history as they faced intense hostility and hatred with love and
USDA will continue its yearlong commemoration of the
50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by hosting a traveling Freedom Riders exhibit on the Patio of the Whitten Building from Aug. 20 through Sept. 17.
If you are outside the Washington
Metropolitan Area, you can view the online version.
NRCS interns had an opportunity to work in a variety of fields, including data
analysis, accounting and staffing this summer.
Read about their experiences on USDA's blog here.
NRCS will soon unveil an outreach plan to help states celebrate the International Year of Soils in 2015.
The 2015 NRCS/Soil
Science Society of America Soils Planner, which highlights soils around the world, will be available by the end of Nov.
Stay tuned for more exciting developments and check out www.soils.org/IYS.
Sammy Soil started as a water color drawing by Ernest
“Howard” Whitaker, who was a NRCS district conservationist in Tennessee, and remains one of NRCS’ most fun and effective teaching tools.
offers a Sammy Soil coloring book, available free through the NRCS distribution
Celebrate back to school with the coloring book and other NRCS educational resources.
Read Sammy Soil's story on the USDA blog here.
Legislative Affairs welcomes the new Acting Director, David Brown.
David is the State
Conservationist in Utah, a position he has held for three years. In his 30-plus year career with NRCS, he's served as Acting State Conservationist
in Pennsylvania, Assistant State Conservation-Programs in Washington and
various area office and field office level positions in Idaho and
David can be reached at 202-720-5484.
W. Smith was selected and appointed to Deputy Chief for Soil Science and
Resource Assessment (SSRA) effective July 13. The SSRA Deputy area
consists of: 4 Divisions including International Programs, Resource Assessment,
Resource Inventory and Soil Science; 3 Centers including the National Geospatial
Center, National Soil Survey Center and National Water and Climate Center; and
3 Remote Sensing Labs (Fort Worth, Greensboro and Portland). Dave’s most
recent previous service was as a Soil Science Division Director. He has
also served as the Soil Survey Regional Director, an Oversight and Evaluation Team
member and a State Soil Scientist with NRCS.”
case you missed it, check out the Chief’s all-employee email update on the
Customer Service Toolkit, Version 7 here.
Question: A former USDA co-worker asked me to
write him a letter of recommendation for a new non-Federal job. Can I use my title and official stationery?
Question: A non-Federal partner organization
has asked me, in my official capacity, to write a letter of support to include
in its grant application package. NRCS
plans to work with this group if they are awarded the grant. Can I use my official title and stationery?
To view the rules and answers click here.
If you have questions, contact Erin Kobiela Auger at (202) 205-1826. Additional information is on the Office of Ethics website.
Want to know what's going on inside NRCS? Check out the latest State Conservation call notes on USDA Connect.