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Indiana Civil Rights Committee

NRCS works to ensure compliance with Agency policies for conservation and equal opportunity programs, and accountability for the delivery of quality and timely service to our customers. USDA is an equal opportunity employer, provider and lender.

Indiana NRCS supports the policy of USDA to provide equal opportunity for all persons without discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

We are fully dedicated to ensuring that all persons associated with NRCS in Indiana comply with every aspect of our nation’s Civil Rights laws and policies.  All employees are expected to model equal opportunity, civil rights, and cultural transformation, and managers and supervisors must demonstrate an elevated regard by supporting civil rights, equal employment opportunity, diversity, and cultural transformation.


Indiana NRCS creó un nuevo recurso en línea para ayudar a nuestros agricultores de habla hispana. Esta herramienta permite a los participantes localizar a los empleados hispanohablantes del NRCS, obtener su información de contacto y acceder a las publicaciones del USDA-NRCS en español. El sitio web también incluye la Política de dominio limitado del inglés, incluidos los pasos para obtener interpretación telefónica y traducción de documentos. Se puede acceder al sitio web en el siguiente enlace….


Indiana NRCS’ created a new online resource to assist our Hispanic speaking farmers.  This tool allows participants to locate NRCS’ Spanish speaking employees, get their contact information and access USDA-NRCS publications in Spanish. The website also includes the Limited English Proficiency Policy, including the steps to get phone interpretation and document translation. The website can be accessed in the following link

Equal Opportunity Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs).  Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.  

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information  requested in the form.  To request a copy of the complaint form, 

Call: (866) 632-9992.  

Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)    mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 

(2)    fax: (202) 690-7442; or 

(3)    email:   

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Reasonable Accommodations Contact

The USDA TARGET Center partners with the USDA Disability Employment Program to ensure customers requesting assistive technology have access to the latest list of Reasonable Accommodations Contacts. Find the FPAC contact here.

Civil Rights and EEO

Equal opportunity applies to employment activities in both the Federal and private sectors.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for any employer to deny anyone a job because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title VII also prohibited discrimination in firing, promoting, training, salary, and all other privileges of employment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC was given the responsibility to investigate EEO complaints and to attempt to resolve those complaints through conciliation and mediation.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that no person in the United States shall, on the "grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Special Emphasis Programs

Special emphasis activities and support are an integral part of the civil rights program at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Within their respective programs, special emphasis program managers assist the State Conservationist, to ensure that equal opportunity is present in all aspects of NRCS programs and services. This includes assisting the State Conservationist to provide leadership to identify under representation and ensure positive actions are being taken to address any such problem areas.

Special emphasis program managers assist the State Conservationist to provide advice and assistance to management officials in order to help them meet civil rights program goals and objectives. They also assist the State Conservationist to ensure effective communications among all persons and areas dealing with, or affected by, agency civil rights responsibilities. 

Sharrona Moore, the found of Lawrence Community Gardens, harvests mustard greens in the garden's high tunnel on Feb. 2, 2021. The high tunnel was funded in part through the Natural Resources Conservation Services' Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which Moore signed up for in 2018. The EQIP funding will also be used to plant a hedgerow at the garden located in Lawrence, Indiana. (Indiana NRCS photo by Brandon O'Connor)

Historically Underserved Communities

Some groups of people are identified in Farm Bill legislation and in USDA policy as being Historically Underserved (HU). Four groups are defined by USDA as “Historically Underserved,” including farmers or ranchers who are:  Beginning, Socially Disadvantaged, Military veterans and Limited Resource

Civil Rights Contacts

Committee At Large
Name Position Phone Number Email
Damarys Mortenson
Deputy Equal Opportunity Officer
Curtis Knueven
State Environmental Justice Coordinator
Jerod Chew
Equal Opportunity Liaison
Susan Meadows
Management and Strategy Liason
Brianne Lowe
Acting Outreach Coordinator
Cara Bergschneider
Urban Conservationist
Kris Vance
State Public Affairs Specialist
Special Emphasis Program Managers
Name Position Phone Number Email
Larencia Williams
Black Emphasis Program Manager
Chisara Iwuchukwu
American Indian/Alaska Native Program Manager
Kellyam Valle Cancel
Hispanic Program Manager
Michael Brennan
Asian American/Pacific Islander Program Manager
Stephanie Mitchell
Federal Women's Program Manager
Trevor Winston
Veterans Program Manager
Frank Jones
Disability Emphasis Program Manager
Mariah Underwood
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Program Manager
Regional Contacts
Name Position Phone Number Email
Kayla Mitchell
Northwest Area Representative
Sara Day
Northeast Area Representative
Andrew Frye
Southwest Area Representative
Kim Lampert
Southeast Area Representative