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News Release

NRCS names new soil health leader to support 13 Western states

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Release No. 2016.03.023

Contact:

Tracy Robillard, State Public Affairs Officer
503-414-3220, Tracy.Robillard@or.usda.gov


PORTLAND, Ore. (March 1, 2016) -- USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has named Jennifer Moore Kucera as the West Regional Soil Health Team Leader with the newly-established NRCS Soil Health Division. In this role, Kucera will oversee the development and implementation of science-based, effective, and economically-viable soil health management systems on diverse agricultural lands.

“Soil is one of our nation's most valuable resources that provides life-sustaining functions,” Kucera said. “As part of the new NRCS Soil Health Division, I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with NRCS staff, farmers, agriculture industry personnel, partner organizations, and the general public to build healthy, sustainable soils.”

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has named Jennifer Moore Kucera as the West Regional Soil Health Team Leader with the newly-established NRCS Soil Health Division.

Kucera leads a team of soil health specialists that supports soil health activities in 13 Western states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.

Before joining NRCS, Kucera was an associate professor of soil and environmental microbiology with the Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech University. She worked at the university for seven years, teaching introductory and graduate level courses in soil science and conducting research to better understand the role of soil microbe communities.

“Soil is a vital, living ecosystem that houses vast biological diversity,” Kucera said. “By shifting our view of soils from an inert growing material to a biologically diverse and active ecosystem, we can help create more sustainable farms, ranches, and forests to provide the food and fiber of our rapidly growing population while protecting land, air and water resources for future generations.”

She holds a bachelor's degree in biology and environmental studies from Binghamton University (in her home state of New York), a master’s degree in soil science from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in soil science from Oregon State University.

In her free time, Kucera enjoys spending time with her husband, their two daughters and two dogs. Her hobbies include backpacking, camping and skiing.

 

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