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Iowa Civil Rights Committee

In Iowa, 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.

Iowa 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 Iowa 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.

Volunteers from Habitat for Humanity, Home Depot, Antioch Baptist Church, active and retired military veterans, and members of USDA’s NRCS joined Director of Bunchology James Bunch to build a high tunnel in a food desert neighborhood of Waterloo, Iowa, July 29, 2022.
(USDA/FPAC photo by Preston Keres)

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.

Jaia Fischer, Assistant State Conservationist for Management and Strategy, is the Civil Rights/EEO Advisor for Iowa NRCS. She can be reached at (515) 284-4525.

Key Contacts

Iowa Committee Members
Name Position Phone Number Email
Dan Paulsen
Sioux City, Chair
Anand Hase
West Union, Asst. Chair
Sarahy Castro
Denison, NW Area
Kathy Moen
New Hampton, NE Area
SW Area
Beth Brand
Malcom, SE Area
Megan Trout
Des Moines, State Office
Special Emphasis Program Managers
Name Position Phone Number Email
American Indian/Alaska Native Emphasis Program
Anand Hase
Asian Pacific Islander Program
Black Emphasis Program
Samantha Gorbet
Disability Emphasis Program
Jolene Bopp
Federal Women's Program
Leigh Macemore
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (+) Emphasis Program
Keith Feliciano-Cortes
Hispanic Emphasis Program
Tanya Meyer-Dideriksen
Outreach Program
Justin Schneider
Veterans Emphasis Program