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Press Release

USDA Opens Full-Time, Entry-Level Soil Conservationist Positions in Illinois

Publish Date
agronomist, lady, laptop, field

NRCS Illinois announces the hiring of entry-level soil conservationists to assist in IRA funding implementation.

Champaign, IL - May 10, 2023— The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is quickly ramping up hiring of new team members to help implement $19.5 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for conservation programs. For example, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) opened job announcements this week for soil conservationists in Illinois and elsewhere across the country. This batch of job openings is part of a broader effort by USDA’s NRCS to help producers develop conservation plans and implement conservation practices, including critical climate-smart practices. 

“The Inflation Reduction Act represents the single largest investment in climate and clean energy solutions in American history, and NRCS’ programs are an important part of our efforts,” said Tammy Willis, Acting State Conservationist for NRCS in Illinois. “To help agricultural producers invest in conservation on their farms and working forests, we need to grow our team that delivers our conservation programs in Illinois. This next generation of conservation professionals will help us build upon our long history of working one-on-one with producers to get conservation on the ground.” 

NRCS soil conservationists offer conservation planning and technical help to agricultural producers, helping them implement practices that sequester carbon, mitigate against climate change, and conserve other natural resources. This assistance helps producers who apply and are funded for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and others. 

How to Apply 

The announcements are currently open and close on May 15, 2023, at 10:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. Interested candidates can find more information and apply to the vacancies on  

To qualify as a GS 5/7/9 soil conservationist, candidates must meet the education requirements, or a combination of education and experience requirements, as outlined in the job announcement. General qualifications for the soil conservationist job series are also available on

Also, watch NRCS’ recruitment video (below) for soil conservationists or visit our Careers webpage to learn about other jobs with NRCS and other FPAC agencies.  

Additionally, to help with implementation, NRCS is working with partners to hire nearly 3,000 team members in the coming years, who will also play a critical role in the conservation planning and implementation process, complementing the work done by NRCS employees.