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Mentor Program

The Vermont NRCS Mentoring Program

The Vermont Mentoring Program is led by the Mentorship Coordinator with the support of the Vermont Management Team. 


The mission of the Vermont NRCS Mentor Program is to develop, oversee, review and provide program maintenance for a successful Vermont Mentoring Program.


The Vermont Mentoring Program will strive to be an effective, voluntary and diverse program that creates partnerships that benefit both the employee and the employer by providing a connection to experience, knowledge, trust, diversity and improved personal and professional work environments.


The Vermont Mentoring Program is committed to using the National Mentoring Framework (NRCS Mentoring) to:

  • Transfer NRCS Institutional Knowledge

  • Enhance Employee Skills

  • Increase Employee Retention

  • Attract Top Talent

Specifically, The Vermont Mentoring Program is designed to meet these goals by:

  • Promoting a confidential and safe mentoring relationship

  • Providing opportunities for personal and professional growth

  • Increasing staff morale and job satisfaction

  • Improving present job skills and abilities of employees, which will increase their productivity and potential for promotion

Mentoring Process - Deadline for Application is November 7th.

Employees interested in serving as mentors or becoming a protégé should complete the “Application for Mentors” or “Application for Protégés” form.

Mentors must be willing to serve as an advisor by listening, guiding, and providing constructive feedback on the protégé's actions, skills, and improvements. The mentor should be knowledgeable about possible forthcoming training opportunities and provide the information to the protégé. The mentor can be a valuable source for networking opportunities within the Agency and throughout our Conservation Partnership. The responsibilities of the mentor are tremendous, such as serving as a role model for the protégé. However, the most important responsibility of the mentor is that of complete confidence of the protégé. A protégé must be able to trust his or her mentor and rely on the mentor to provide sincere, honest, and constructive feedback during regular interaction reporting periods.

The ideal candidate in becoming protégé is one that demonstrates the following characteristics:

  1. Self-motivation;

  2. A willingness to take advantage of available learning opportunities;

  3. Eagerness to learn new skills and abilities;

  4. Desire to develop existing skills and abilities;

  5. Willingness to be a team player who is able to cooperate and communicate with others;

  6. Sensitivity to cultural and gender differences; and

  7. Become an active participant.

Please note that all participants must have support from their supervisor to participate.

After the application period closes, the Vermont Membership Coordinator works with the New England Mentorship Team to propose tentative matches of mentors and protégés.  A system has been incorporated into the program in the event that an initial match or ongoing relationship is not satisfactory.

Once the mentor has been assigned to a potential protégé, the protégé must be willing to make a one-year commitment to the Vermont Mentor Program. The mentor and protégé will work together to develop a preferred way to interact during this one year time frame. The success of mentoring depends upon both the mentor and the protégé.

Role of the Supervisor

While participation in the Vermont Mentoring Program requires the consent of the employee’s supervisor, it is not intended to absolve supervisors of their leadership role.  The supervisor remains the primary source of guidance of employees.  The Vermont Mentoring Program supplements and reinforces this supervisory role.

Mentoring does NOT replace and is not a substitute for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Civil Rights Program, Career Counseling, or other personal development programs.  Employees with concerns in those areas should contact the appropriate program manager.

More Information and Forms

NRCS Mentoring Website


Vermont Mentorship Coordinator

Corey Brink

District Conservationist, Northwest Zone

27 Fisher Pond Road, Suite 1

Saint Albans, VT  05478

802-524-6505 ext. 118   

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice or TDD).  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.