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Texas NRCS Employee Receives 2019 Unsung Hero Award

By Quenna Terry, NRCS Public Affairs Specialist

Celebrated the first week of May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week has been a time for the USDA’s employee organization Professional Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (OPEDA) in partnership with the USDA and Departmental Management to recognize the dedication and service of the USDA employees through the Unsung Hero Award Program. 

Dee Ann LittlefieldDee Ann Littlefield, public affairs specialist with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas was chosen as a 2019 Unsung Hero Award winner by OPEDA during Public Service Recognition Week.  With 400 nominations across all USDA agencies, Littlefield was one of 14 individual winners and one of three NRCS employee winners nationwide.  Her name was announced during the 35th Annual Unsung Hero Award Ceremony in Washington D.C. in May during Public Service Recognition Week.    

Littlefield has worked 15 years for NRCS, and she received the award as one of the nation’s Unsung Heroes for her work to develop a private-federal corporate partnership with Miller-Coors in 2014 to benefit private Texas landowners; the program has now been adopted by Idaho, California and Colorado.  Known by her peers as a dynamic and talented individual who routinely puts others before herself, Littlefield served in 2018 as the Texas lead and point of contact in for NRCS for Hurricane Harvey.  She coordinated 39 disaster workshops in Texas; she led communication efforts for Puerto Rico, Georgia and Florida from Hurricane Irma, as well as assisting in translation of program fact sheets to Spanish.   She has served as an advisor during implementation of  She was also involved in the development of the first-ever agency led Soil Health event where more than 300 producers attended in Texas. She has taken a leadership role in providing information and assistance to minority producers and employees and is serving on the Women in NRCS Communications Committee.  Littlefield has demonstrated exemplary service to both customers and employees at the state and national levels.

Every day, USDA’s 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees are serving the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad. From improving and conserving our land and natural resources to supporting our nation’s farmers and ranchers; expanding market opportunities for American agriculture; and investing in our rural economies.

Established in 1929, OPEDA is an association of professional employees with the mission to enhance the effectiveness of members in the performance of their duties. It seeks to provide enlightened guidance and representation before Congress, the Administration, and other employee groups and organizations and the public on matters that promote the efficient and effective operation of agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Be encouraged to nominate your fellow peers in conservation for the Unsung Hero Award.  It’s special knowing employees make the nominations for their coworkers to be recognized for such a prestigious award given each spring by Opeda to coincide with public service recognition week.

Texas NRCS Employee Receives 2019 Unsung Hero Award, Quenna Terry, USDA-NRCS public affairs specialist (2019, June)