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Ohio Civil Rights Committee

In Ohio, the Natural Resources Conservation Service staff works closely with USDA Service Center partners, Farm Service Agency and Rural Development, to provide equitable service to all customers and potential customers, and to provide equal opportunities for all employees and potential employees.

Ohio 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 Ohio 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

Maddie Baker picks produce for a CSA

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 Advisory Committee (CRAC)

CRAC members and the Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPMs) help ensure that Federal agencies institute, plan, and take affirmative steps to provide equal opportunity to women and minority applicants and employees in all areas of employment (recruitment, hiring, training, promotions, and awards); and provide a means for women and minorities to communicate their concerns to management.

Jimmy Lewis, Asst. State Conservationist (Mgt and Strategy), is the Civil Rights/EEO Advisor for Ohio NRCS. He can be reached at 614-255-2470.

Key Contacts

Special Emphasis Program Managers
Name Position Phone Number Email
William Cook
American Indian/Alaskan Native Emphasis Program
Michaela Werling
Asian Pacific Islander Emphasis Program
James Tillman
Black Emphasis Program
Christina Gates
Disability Emphasis Program
Jessica Burns
Federal Women's Emphasis Program
Meghan Burgess
LGBTQ+ Emphasis Program
Cristhian Carrasquillo
Hispanic Emphasis Program
Gary Kirchhofer
Veteran Emphasis Program