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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue tours Mastronardi Produce, Coldwater, MI, on April 3, 2018. Founded by Umberto Mastronardi more than 60 years ago, the fourth generation of the Mastronardi family owns and manages a year-round operation of greenhouses that produce tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Vine-ripened produce is harvested by hand when possible. The greenhouses use modern technology and sustainable growing practices to reduce the impact on the environment (i.e. they use one-tenth the water o

About the Equity Division

Advancing Equity in NRCS – Looking through the lens of others

In accordance with Executive Order 13985, "Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government," NRCS Chief Terry J. Cosby established the agency’s first ever Equity Division in October 2021.

NRCS Equity Division – Mission/Vision/Core Values

Chief Cosby’s commitment and dedication to Equity goals serve to “advance Equity by sustaining fairness of NRCS programs, services, and technical assistance within agency policies and practices.”

MISSION – Advocate for and better align institutional Equity into the work and practices of NRCS to ensure that every USDA-NRCS customer is put in a position to succeed in a diverse government world and notably feel inclusiveness to agency programs and services.

VISION – Diversity and inclusion for every customer through our programs.

CORE VALUES – Believing that NRCS customers’ opportunity and benefits of agency programs are strengthened when working towards the common good and goals by improving agency program outreach, NRCS improves customers’ Equity and equality of life through conservation opportunities and benefits.

The NRCS Equity Division is establishing methods to assess whether and how agency policies and actions create or exacerbate barriers to full and equal participation by all eligible individuals. The Division’s analyses are identifying the best methods, consistent with applicable law, to assist NRCS in advancing Equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. Equity data and metrics are curated, analyzed, and used at multiple levels to pinpoint inequities, form decisions for change, deploy resources, track progress, and evaluate effectiveness.

Employee Directory

NRCS Equity Division Staff
Name Position Phone Number Email
Vivian Dickson
M. Carlo Altman
Equity Data Analyst
Samora Bennerman-Johnson
Equity Program Manager
Nizhoni LaFrance-Pettigrew
Equity Program Manager
Amy Overstreet
Equity Communications Specialist
Patrick Vincent
Equity Program Manager