WHY WORK FOR THE NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS)?
WHY WORK FOR NRCS?
Bruce Chapell, Former Zone District Conservationist, Montpelier, Vermont:
"I worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service for 34 years. I've worked in two states and a number of different counties throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. I think when I was starting out I was in college. I was always looking for a career where I could have a job where I could work outdoors. My family was farmers in the past and I always enjoyed agriculture and it seemed like a great mix for me to be able to work with farmers who are some of the kindest nicest people you'll ever find in this country."
Roslyn Odum, Agricultural Engineer, formerly located in Saint Albans, Vermont:
"I really enjoy meeting with the landowners, discussing their resource concerns and potential solutions. It's a really interactive engineering job and then I know that when I come back, the work I do in the office is for the direct benefit of the landowner. If your passion is environmental work then NRCS is a great opportunity to do effective work that is actually implemented, improves quality of life for landowners, farmers, ranchers. And Vermont especially as a small state with small farms, a little bit goes a long way and it's really rewarding to work here."
WHY WORK FOR NRCS IN VERMONT?
"If you like the outdoors and natural beauty and a laid back environment then Vermont is definitely the place to be. And as an engineer I love working for NRCS. Particularly as a young engineer I find that the senior engineers have a lot to offer and I have a lot to learn from them. I also really enjoy the level of technology of the work that we do as engineers because it allows me to be responsible for my own projects which motivates me to work hard to satisfy my bosses and also the landowner."
"As I look back on my career it gives me a lot of pleasure to see the land that we've helped farmers improve in productivity, we do soil erosion, and as I drive up and down the roads through Vermont, it's a pleasure to see some of these conservation practices that I have personally installed myself or others before me have installed."
"One thing about Vermont is that it is a small state and it's filled with small farms. And these farms have been in families for generations and so there's a real vested interest in keeping the land healthy, keeping the farm working and you'll find a sense of community everywhere in this state. So our work is integral to that. It keeps Vermont the beautiful green state that it is, it keeps the waters clean, farmers and farmers alike seem to really value the beauty of Vermont and most people appreciate us here, so our work goes a long ways."
THE VERMONT FACES WE HELP
Guy Choiniere, Farmer, Choiniere Family Farm, Highgate, Vermot:
"They (NRCS) first of all gave me hope. I mean we all know what we need to do. I could see what was happening. But they gave me hope that it could be done. It was a huge project. It's taken me ten years. Because what is Vermont? We're basically mountain sides and riverbanks and it's hard to deal with; it's not just a nice flat prairie land. So they gave me the hope, the engineering, and they gave me some cost share which helped encourage me to go forward with the project. I was a problem child when they came to me ten years ago, but I'm not done I'm not discouraged because I know they're there to help."
Mimmy Arnstein, Farmer, Wellspring Farm, Marshfield, Cermont:
"NRCS came out to discuss installing tile drainage on our property because a lot of our soil is not as well drained as we would like it to be. At this point we've got a good three acres that have been tiled and it has absolutely changed the nature of our soil. This farm is so much better because of the work that we were able to do with NRCS' help."
Patty Hart-Ahonen, Farmer, Eniskerry Farm, Colchester, Vermont:
"Oh we've been very pleased. There is no way we could have done this amount of work in this amount of time without the financial backing as well as the guidance and the help to do so. They've been absolutely amazing with us and the difference is just incredible. It's been a big relief to know that the horses are going to stay in their pastures and that they're not going to lose shoes and pull tendons. So from that perspective it's been really important. On a day to day basis it's improved everything on the farm."
THE VERMONT LIFESTYLE
"As far as living in Vermont - it's a beautiful state. There's mountains and rivers and streams and lakes everywhere. There's water sports - you can go boating, you can go running along the lake. You can hike and ski and bike. There's a real outdoor scene here, there's a lot of energy. There's a lot of young people who go to college here and stick around, so there's music and bars and restaurants. There's a local food scene, there's natural products. Definitely quality of life and community can be found all over the state."
YOUR CAREER IN VERMONT
"It certainly is a career where I think there is tremendous opportunities for young folks. If they want to get in the field, if they want to get with some of the specialized positions within the agency, the sky's the limit as far as what you can do in this agency."
"The reason its great to start, especially as a young person, working for NRCS in Vermont is because there's a lot of room for career development, there's different pathways you can take, there's also a very connected environmental scene outside of NRCS. We have a lot of partners such as the agency of natural resources, the agency of Ag, the University of Vermont extension. We are part of a broader community that recognizes the value of the environment."
"I think I've been blessed to work with an agency who truly believes in its employees and has offered me a great job where I can work with a great group of people and work outside and I certainly would encourage people to certainly consider a career with our agency."
"The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Vermont. Conservation: Our purpose, Our passion, Your career."