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NRCS SC Celebrates 75 Years of Helping People Help the Land

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in South Carolina is celebrating 75 years of helping people help the land.


NRCS was created as the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) within the USDA on April 7, 1935, in response to the natural devastation across the American landscape that became known as the Dust Bowl days. Thanks to the efforts of the many conservationists who have worked with SC SCS/NRCS, the landscape of the Palmetto State has been transformed from one scarred by erosion and severe flooding to fertile and productive fields and clean, clear streams.

Back in 1935, the primary mission of the agency was to conserve soil and heal erosion on agricultural land. Today, the agency is still committed to protecting and improving soil and water quality, but it’s mission has broadened to address issues like air quality, climate change, and energy. The growth of the environmental movement and the emphasis and value placed on locally grown food has heightened public awareness and influenced policies relating to food and water quality. This is an exciting time for the agency, as we continue to help private landowners protect and improve soil, water, air, plants, and animals.

NRCS thanks the many conservation partners that have helped shaped the history of the agency in South Carolina, including the conservationists at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), which serve all 46 counties through 39 USDA Service Centers throughout the state. In addition South Carolina’s seven Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils focus on conservation, development, and utilization of area natural resources to improve social, economic, and environmental conditions for area citizens. RC&D’s help local units of government conserve and properly utilize natural resources to solve local problems. Local councils, with input from area citizens, set program priorities.

The 75th anniversary celebration will continue throughout 2010.

Below are links to a collection of images, historic publication covers, and the transcript of a speech delivered in 1951 to new employees of the Soil Conservation Service in South Carolina. It is profound for its timeless nature, and provides a nice overview of the national and state history of the agency.

SC NRCS is proud to celebrate 75 years of conservation excellence.


Historical Photographs and Documents of South Carolina NRCS


The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

 South Carolina SCS New Employees Orientation Speech--1951  (PDF; 32 KB)