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Richard Sims, Regional Conservationist for the Northeast

Portrait of Rich SimsRichard Sims, former State Conservationist with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Iowa, begins his duties as the Regional Conservationist for the Northeast Region in July 2012.  In this top management position, he manages and provides overall leadership for agency operations for 14 states, which includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Prior to working for NRCS in Iowa, Sims served as State Conservationist in Idaho from October 1999 to June 2008, and completed two details to the National Headquarters in Washington, D. C. as the Director of Financial Assistance Program Division and Acting Deputy Chief for the Soil Survey and Resource Assessment.  

A native of Will County, Illinois, Sims grew up on a corn, soybean and Black Angus farm.  He graduated from Illinois State University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy.  

Sims began his career with USDA-NRCS in 1980 as a soil scientist in Illinois. Throughout his tenure, he has held various positions including District Conservationist in Illinois; Area Conservationist from 1990 to 1996 in Fort Dodge and West Union, Iowa; and Assistant State Conservationist for Operations, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, and State Administrative Officer in West Virginia.