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Outreach & Advocacy

Ronald Harris, Branch Chief

The mission of the NRCS Outreach and Advocacy Division

 is to provide leadership to ensure that all programs and services are made accessible to all NRCS customers, fairly and equitably, with emphasis on reaching the underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners.

Objectives and Responsibilities

  • Provide oversight for all proposed program and policy development to assure equity and accessibility by all customers.
  • Develop policy and programs that will allow full participation by underserved individuals and groups and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners.
  • Identify and address potential institutional and systemic barriers that prevent underserved customers from full participation.
  • Provide implementation strategies to increase the participation in programs and benefits to underserved clientele and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners.
  • Develop and implement specific outreach activity performance measures with expected outcomes and program results to ensure better program accountability.
  • Provide national leadership and guidance on developing outreach plans and to incorporate outreach strategies in business plans.
  • Develop strategies to most effectively utilize 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, 1994 Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Expand and strengthen relationships in order to increase research capacity and contribute to technical and community assistance to the underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners.
  • Develop and maintain effective communication and working relationships with tribal, federal, community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations to engage them in fostering and promoting outreach strategies.
  • Expand and enhance partnerships and networks that provide assistance and information to underserved groups and individuals, and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners.
  • Institutionalize outreach within all programs and services of NRCS.  Share outreach information across units at all levels increasing the agency's ability to reach more underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers and landowners.

Contact us at:

Ronald Harris, Director, Outreach and Advocacy Division                   

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services
Outreach Branch
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250
Office (202)720-2847
Fax    (202) 205-0117