Kathy Hodges, Resource Conservationist
Kathy grew up on a small farm in the rural community of White Lily in Pulaski County where she was active in FFA in high school. FFA pointed her in the direction of agriculture. She said, "I lived by the FFA motto; learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve." Kathy learned by doing and through "hands on" activities on the farm, in the classroom as well as FFA activities, she developed a love for agriculture and helping others.
After graduating from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with emphasis in Agriculture Education, Kathy intended to become an agriculture teacher, but another door opened when a position as soil conservationist became available with the Soil Conservation Service (now Natural Resources Conservation Service). She said, "I decided to see where that door would lead, and so began my journey with USDA."
Kathy was selected for the soil conservationist position in the Monticello field office in 1988 and was later reassigned to the Campbellsville field office. As she gained valuable experience at the field level, Kathy came to work in the Somerset Area Office as a resource conservationist where she worked with Farm Bill Programs at the Area level. A few years later, Kathy joined the Technology Field Support Team where she assisted NRCS staff in multiple counties with practice implementation and contract administration related to NRCS financial assistance programs.
Kathy has served as the District Conservationist in Campbellsville where she provided service to landowners in the six county work unit. She currently serves as an Acting Resource Conservationist where she assists NRCS staff with contract administration related to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and other financial assistance programs. Kathy said, "In both of these positions, I get the opportunity to help people, whether it be landowners, partner employees, or my own counterparts." She is living out her love for agriculture and for helping others.
Kathy values the partnerships she has built over her 25 year career. She recalls some of her favorite work being project work, "Beginning with the Fall Creek Watershed Project in Monticello to more recently the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) project, I am blessed with a job that affords me the opportunity to constantly meet new people." Kathy says she still enjoys following up on projects like the Clay Hill Memorial Forest and the Homeplace on Green River to see the continued growth and success related to the conservation efforts from previous years. She added, "Being able to look back and know you made a difference - on the land, in someone's life, everyday - that's my goal."
She and her husband Doug have two boys, DJ who is a freshman at Murray State University studying agriculture, and Drue who is a freshman at Green County High School where he plays baseball. They live on a farm in Green County and raise beef cattle, tobacco, corn and soybeans. Kathy is also an active member of her church where she serves as youth leader.