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NRCS Employees Discuss Career Opportunities with Texas A&M Students

NRCS Employees Discuss Career Opportunities with Texas A&M Students

Story by Jacob Bushong and Richard Reid

Members of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Survey office and the Zone 4 Area Office recently discussed NRCS career opportunities with students on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. The NRCS employees visited Dr. Scott Senseman�s �Introduction to Soil and Crop Sciences� class of 43 students. One of the objectives of the freshman and sophomore level course is to connect students with individuals who work in positions with state and federal agencies and industry.

Each NRCS employee started out by giving a brief summary of how they have arrived at their current position with the NRCS. The experiences shared varied greatly between employees who have only worked a couple of years to those that are just a few years away from retirement. The panel then discussed some of the day-to-day activities that are involved in their area of specialization. This gave the students an idea of the numerous career paths the NRCS has to offer.

The panel then took questions from the students about careers in the NRCS. The questions ranged from, what are the educational requirements for certain specializations to the advantages and disadvantages of working for the NRCS. Every member of the panel agreed that some of the major advantages to working for the NRCS are the great employees you work alongside with and helping landowners and operators implement sound conservation practices.

And, finally, the panel discussed how the Texas NRCS is accepting applications for 15 to 20 positions in its Student Career Experience Program (SCEP). They told how the program will allow students to receive on-the-job training while attending college and those students must work a minimum of 640 hours prior to graduation and must also meet the educational requirements for the specialization for which they are hired. The preferred fields of study include agronomy, engineering, forestry, plant science, range management, soil science, and wildlife management.