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News Release

Natural Resources Conservation Service in Florida Welcomes New Director

Contact:
Gail Hendricks
352-338-9560


Release No. 112013                                                                  

State Conservationist Russell MorganGainesville, FL., May 15, 2013– On May 20th Russell Morgan will take over the reins as State Conservationist in Florida for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, also known as the NRCS. He will lead the agency's 163 employees in 50 offices across the state.

Morgan holds a B.S. degree in Agricultural Engineering from Mississippi State University and a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Mississippi.  Since 2007, Morgan has been serving as the NRCS Delaware state conservationist.

Throughout his career he has served in several positions for NRCS including National Program Manager for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for managing an annual budget of more than $31 million.  He developed and evaluated national program priorities, guidelines, standards, manuals and procedures for implementing the National Watershed Rehabilitation Program.  He also provided leadership and guidance on the issue of aging watershed infrastructures.

Other positions in which Morgan has served with NRCS include: State Construction Engineer, GA; Resource Engineer, AL; and Project Engineer, AL.  Prior to joining NRCS, he served as Assistant Project Engineer with the Mississippi Department of Transportation in Grenada, MS, and Field Engineer with Halliburton Oilfield Services in Bossier City, LA.

In Florida, where total farmland equals 27% of the state and agriculture is considered the second most important industry, NRCS helps farmers and ranchers on voluntary conservation projects designed to protect natural resources on farms, ranches and private, non-industrial forests.

Morgan will oversee significant federal conservation funding administered by the NRCS through technical assistance and conservation programs in the Farm Bill. In 2012, they totaled about $103.7 million in cost share, stewardship and easement payments. The funds help farmers and ranchers improve air and water quality, irrigation efficiency and water quantity, rangeland health, fish and wildlife habitat, and many other resource concerns.

Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and programs is available on the web at www.fl.nrcs.usda.govor at your local USDA - NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to your telephone directory under “U. S. Government, Department of Agriculture”, or http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.

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