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Employee Vingette - Annette Holmes

Illinois' NRCS Employee Vignette
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Annette Holmes, District Conservationist
Decatur, Illinois

May 2008

Photo of Annette Holmes, District ConservationistAs the NRCS District Conservationist in Macon County, IL, Annette Holmes is surrounded by agriculture. Although she grew up a city girl, both parents had strong farming backgrounds in Tennessee and Mississippi. It was there that as a young child Annette developed her appreciation and love of the land. While her school did not have an agriculture or agronomy class or FFA to join, there was one special chemistry teacher who encouraged Annette’s involvement at the Science Fair on a project involving the pH of soil. That’s all it took. She was hooked.

“That high school project led me right back to the joy I’d found in agriculture as a child on the family farm. That teacher saw my passion for plants and soil back then and she encouraged me to consider agriculture as a career. That’s exactly what I did and I’ve never looked back,” she explains.

With no one in the Holmes network pursuing a future in farming, Annette’s family was happily surprised when she found a new way to keep agriculture and the love of the land ‘in the family.’ “I’m not working the land or growing things like they did,” Annette explains. “But by working for NRCS, I’m involved with the land, the soil, and farmers who are the stewards of the land. I am part of the equation that makes conservation and agriculture work here in Macon County. And that’s a great place to be.”

Annette’s fondness of soil and plants led her towards a degree in Agriculture Sciences with emphasis in Agronomy. She was originally leaning towards research, but in the end, found that working for NRCS provides her the best of both worlds. By working with clients to plan and implement conservation, she has the opportunity to work with other like-minded professionals and with private landowners with a similar passion and a need for guidance in addressing natural resource problems.

“I work with good people, I work for good people. I work in support of soil and water resources. Every day is different. And every day I play a part in devising solutions and making legacies come to life on the land. I feel lucky to have a job where I can take home that sense of accomplishment every day,” adds Annette.

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