For more than 80 years, we have helped people make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the quality of our air, water, soil, and habitat.
- Our Mission: We deliver conservation solutions so agricultural producers can protect natural resources and feed a growing world.
- Our Vision: A world of clean and abundant water, healthy soils, resilient landscapes, and thriving agricultural communities through voluntary conservation.
Supporting America’s Working Lands
As the USDA’s primary private lands conservation agency, we generate, manage, and share the data, technology, and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science.
And through one-on-one, personalized advice, we work voluntarily with producers and communities to find the best solutions to meet their unique conservation and business goals. By doing so, we help address climate change and ensure the long-term sustainability of American agriculture. We’re also focused on the American farmer, especially those underserved by our programs as well as those trying to break into new markets, like organics.
Rooted in the Dust Bowl
NRCS was born out of troubled times — the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. Dust storms ravaged the Nation’s farmland, stripping away millions of tons of topsoil and carrying it all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. What originally began as the USDA Soil Conservation Service in 1935 is now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a name change that highlights our broader mission of natural resource conservation.
Our Work with Producers and Partners
Today, through voluntary conservation programs, NRCS helps producers, soil and water conservation districts, and other partners protect and conserve natural resources on private lands throughout the United States. With approximately 2,300 Service Centers in communities nationwide, NRCS and other USDA employees work side-by-side with producers in every State and territory. Producers can learn more or apply for a program by contacting your local Service Center. You can also learn more about our conservation solutions by watching our Conservation at Work video series or using our Conservation Concerns Tool.
Meanwhile, we know we can’t do this work alone, and we work with conservation partners to develop conservation solutions.