Conserving our natural resources is not a one-person job. NRCS succeeds through its partnerships, working closely with individual farmers and ranchers, landowners, local conservation districts, government agencies, Tribes, Earth Team volunteers and many other people and groups.
On this page:
- Types of Partners
- Partnership Members
- Partnership Programs
- Outreach and Education
- Volunteer with NRCS
Types of Partners
Partnerships allow our agency to expand the reach and depth of conservation. The federal, state, and nonprofit groups that comprise our conservation partnerships have a diversity of expertise in discipline, location/area, and focus. As partners in conservation, these groups share their unique areas of expertise and conservation work to put more conservation on the land.
- Conservation districts
- Local communities
- State and federal agencies
- NRCS Earth Team volunteers
- Agricultural and environmental groups
- Conservation Districts Employees
- Professional societies
- Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils
- Conservation organizations
- Sportsman Groups
- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the federal agency that works hand-in-hand with the American people to conserve natural resources on private lands. Formerly the Soil Conservation Service, NRCS brings 60 years of scientific and technical expertise to the Partnership.
- National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)
- The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)
The national organization for 3,000 local conservation districts across the country. Conservation districts are local units of government responsible for the soil and water conservation work within their boundaries. The districts' role is to increase voluntary conservation practices among farmers, ranchers and other land users.
- The National Association of State Conservation Agencies (NASCA)
A coalition of state conservation agencies that provide guidance and funding for conservation districts. They operate numerous state environmental, sediment control, and soil erosion prevention programs.
- The National Conservation Districts Employees Association (NCDEA)
- Restore America's Estuaries and USDA-NRCS signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will set the stage for activities designed to maintain and enhance coastal, estuarine and marine habitats and associated species.
Learn about other NRCS partners.
NRCS offers a variety of partnership programs, including the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG).
RCPP is a partner-driven approach to conservation that funds solutions to natural resource challenges on agricultural land. By leveraging collective resources and collaborating on common goals, RCPP demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships in delivering results for agriculture and conservation.
CIG is a competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands. Through creative problem solving and innovation, CIG partners work to address our nation's water quality, air quality, soil health and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations.
NRCS also administers other program opportunities for partners, including the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program and Wetland Mitigation Banking Program.
Outreach and Education
NRCS is committed to ensuring all programs and services are made accessible to all NRCS customers, fairly and equitably, with emphasis on reaching the underserved and socially disadvantaged agricultural producers. The Outreach and Advocacy Division as well as a network of outreach specialists across the county work with stakeholders, partners and producers to ensure producers are aware of opportunities. More on outreach and education.
Volunteer with NRCS
Since 1985, NRCS has offered a volunteer program, called Earth Team volunteers. Volunteers across the nation help NRCS accomplish its mission to provide conservation resources to farmers, ranchers, and forest owners.