At the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), we are very proud of our Earth Team Volunteers’ commitment to conservation. The Earth Team is the volunteer workforce of NRCS and we are making a difference in every county in the nation. The primary purpose of the Earth Team volunteer program is to expand NRCS services by using volunteer time, talent, and energy to help accomplish the NRCS mission. Nationally, in fiscal year 2015, more than 23,800 people across the country donated 294,306 hours of service to NRCS worth about $6.8 million.
Individuals from all walks of life volunteer to help NRCS and districts carryout their conservation mission. Volunteers help to protect and conserve the Earth's natural resources. By volunteering you will help ensure that generations to come will enjoy Earth's natural bounty. You will learn new skills and meet and work with new people.
Georgia's 2016 Earth Team Volunteer Spotlights
Marybeth Smith | After turning 14 Marybeth Smith signed up to be an Earth Team Volunteer and work alongside her father Dane Smith, NRCS soil conservation technician in Blackshear. Her first job was working the NRCS booth at Coastfest in southeast Georgia providing information and distributing media products to the participants. Marybeth is also a straight-A student who works on the family’s commercial peach orchard running their solar-powered irrigation system. Learn more.
Aaron Bengochea | Aaron Bengochea is an avid outdoorsman that likes to fish, kayak, hike, backpack, and he like to mountain bike as well. He is a volunteer with the State Engineering team surveying dams and digitizing watershed work plans. Bengochea was born in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, but grew up in Atlanta. He is currently an Environmental Engineering Technology student and plans to graduate over the summer. He has had experience with drafting, land surveying, Geographic Information Systems processing, and erosion/pollution control for construction. When he graduates he hopes to stay in this same line of work or work with an engineering firm developing erosion, sedimentation, and pollution control plans. “Outside of work and school I’m a bit of an outdoors nut. Pretty much anything to do with the outdoors and mountains will pique my interest”, said Bengochea.
Sarah Spradlin | Sarah has been an Earth Team volunteer since late 2015 in the Public Affairs Office making buttons, assembling Soil Health Packets and helping out wherever she is needed. She attends the University of Georgia as an agriculture communication and international affairs double major. She hopes to be an international agriculture educator/communicator in the future. As she puts it, "Pretty much helping people help the land abroad through communication and education." She lives in Comer where she attended Madison County High School. During high school, she was actively involved in the National FFA Organization, "and that was what set me on an agricultural career path," she added. She likes playing piano, reading books and she also works for a small, online magazine in her spare time.
Georgia's 2015 Earth Team Volunteer Spotlights
Marietta Walker | Marietta is a native of Sumter County, Georgia and lives in the town of Leslie. She grew up on a farm and has first-hand knowledge of the all the work that goes into agriculture. In her work as an Earth Team volunteer in the Americus field office, Marietta greets clientele, answers the phone, and assists with contract folders and filing. She says that “NRCS has lots of paperwork, but I love volunteering, love the job, and really like working with people.” Learn more.
Devon Bullock | Devon is from Atlanta, Ga. She is currently a dual major in Environmental Chemistry and Biological Sciences at the University of Georgia. At the NRCS office in Athens, Devon is working on soil profile models of soil series found across the state of Georgia to be used at educational events aimed at teaching community members the importance of soil health. In her spare time, Devon enjoys horseback riding! Learn more.
Georgia's 2014 Earth Team Volunteer Spotlights
Allegra Stransky | Allegra has moved several times with her military husband but she has managed to make each new place feel like home by volunteering. Their latest army move was to Ft. Stewart, Georgia where she is an Earth Team volunteer with the Richmond Hill NRCS office. Allegra says that she is enjoying learning about coastal Georgia and experiencing life in the low country. Learn more.
Melissa Mooneyham | Melissa was instrumental in documenting the successes of EWP projects in Dade, Walker, and Catoosa Counties. There was a lot of data gathered in the damage survey reports for each potential and actual EWP site. Melissa took information from damage survey reports and information from the implementation of the practices at each site and developed a great summary of what was accomplished. Learn more.
Who Can Volunteer?
Anyone 14 years of age or older and interested in conserving our precious natural resources can join the Earth Team. You can work part-time or full-time, evenings or weekends, outdoors or in an local NRCS office. You can volunteer as an individual or as a group!
For additional information on Georgia's Earth Team Volunteer program, contact Georgia's Volunteer Coordinator.