Lacey Gaw, Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations
Lacey may be a Tennessee girl at heart, but Frankfort, Kentucky is now where she calls home. Raised on a small commercial cattle and burley tobacco farm in Gainesboro, Tennessee, Lacey has a lifetime of agriculture experience. She graduated from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville where she heard about NRCS while attending a job fair.
The Student Trainee program (now called Pathways), allowed Lacey an opportunity to gain work experience while finishing her degree. After graduation, she was hired as the Soil Conservationist and moved all the way to Fairfiled, Iowa where she learned about agriculture on a very large scale. A few years later, Lacey took a promotion as the District Conservationist in Kenbridge, Virgina. She also served as a District Conservationist in Lexington, Virginia before moving back to Tennessee as a Resource Conservationist (RC) on the Ecological Sciences Staff in the NRCS State Office in Nashville.
While in the RC role, Lacey had the opportunity to train the field staff on Conservation Planning. She recalls how much she enjoyed teaching new employees about planning. Lacey added, "It was also good to remind the more experienced employees about the importance of Conservation Planning, it's what makes our agency great."
Every step on Lacey's career path gave her new experiences and provided her the opportunity to see agriculture from different perspectives. She was happy to be back in Tennessee, but Lacey knew she had more to learn and more to give. She took on the role as Acting Assistant State Conservationist for Programs in Spokane, Washington and gained a new perspective on Farm Bill programs and statewide leadership and implementation of the programs.
In 2012, Lacey was selected as the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in Kentucky. Now she uses her experience to guide conservation efforts for the Area 2 NRCS staff which covers 36 counties.
Lacey is married to Eric and they have a new baby girl Savannah, two dogs, and a cat. Life is busy for this young family, but they take it one day at a time. She added, "For now, I'm going to enjoy my job and the people I work with, the rest will take care of itself."