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William H. Durham

Soil Health Specialist, National Soils Health Division

located at Central National Technology Support Center USDA NRCS
501 W. Felix St., FWFC, Bldg. 23, Fort Worth, TX 76115
Phone: 817-509-3289
(254) 760-1969 personal cell
(254) 231-1258 work cell
Fax: 817-509-3337
Email: William.Durham@ftw.usda.gov
 

Work Experience

 
 
National Soils Health Specialist

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soils Health Division,
October, 2015 to present

State Conservation Agronomist  

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ecological Sciences Staff, State Office, Temple, TX, 2009 to September, 2015. As the State Conservation Agronomist, I provide statewide leadership in cropland, pastureland, hayland and related lands with emphasis on conservation planning and application in relation to agronomic discipline and soil health resource concerns. In addition, I serve as the state point of contact for Organic and Soil Health Initiatives. Provide leadership on State Conservation Innovation Grant Program related to Agronomy and Soil Health.  I serve as an instructor Cadre for the National Soil Health and Sustainability Team providing instruction for NEDC Soil Health and Sustainability for Field Staff, and National Soil Health 101 State Trainings. 

Supervisory Soil Conservationist   

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Uvalde, TX, June 2006 to October 2009. As Resource Team Leader, I coached and supervised a natural resources conservation team consisting of 10 employees to accomplish a comprehensive resource conservation program in Kinney, Maverick, Medina and Uvalde counties.  Provided leadership in technical guidance, interpretations and recommendations to a resource team, in planning and application of complex land management systems. Analyzed workloads, developed plan of operations and established goals in line with needs, available staff and other resources. Provided leadership for program administration activities including contract administration, quality control, and quality assurance exceeding all performance goals during my role as Resource Team Leader.

Conservation Agronomist

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Uvalde, TX, June 2002 to June 2006. As Conservation Agronomist on a USDA NRCS Edwards Aquifer Irrigation Team, I performed irrigation evaluations and Soil Quality Tests on soils under irrigation.  Coordinated technical information obtained from NRCS irrigation evaluations and presented to cooperators in a professional technical report.  Provided technical assistance and training to cooperators, NRCS team members and field office staff on irrigation system efficiency, capacity, soil quality testing and agronomic related practices on irrigated cropland and pastureland. Provided agronomic assistance to NRCS District Conservationist on all natural resource conservation programs as part of the Uvalde/Medina County Resource Teams. 

Licensed Landscape Irrigator

 

TLC Total Lawn Care, McAllen, TX, April 2001 to May 2002.  As a Licensed Landscape Irrigator, I gained the skill and ability to design, repair and install sprinkler and drip irrigation systems.  Advised business and home owners on proper irrigation scheduling, chemical and fertilizer use on lawn and landscape.    

Field Sales Agronomist

Novartis Seeds, Inc., Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico, November 1995 to July 2000.  As Regional Field Sales Agronomist, I provided agronomic support and training to agricultural producers, distributor personnel and company sales managers concerning all of Novartis Seed Product Lines.  I worked extensively with new biotechnology products being introduced and was responsible for coordinating Field Evaluation Trials in my geographical area of responsibility.  Data collected and agronomic experiences gained were used to better advise agricultural producers, distributor personnel and company sales managers.  I handled all of Novartis’ Customer Service Calls for Texas and Oklahoma and provided agronomic expertise in corn, cotton, silage, sorghum, soybeans and vegetable crops. 

Field Sales Representative

Terra International, Inc., Edinburg, TX, November 1992 to November 1995. As a Field Sales Representative, I was certified as a Crop Advisor by the American Society of Agronomy and assumed the role of Cropping Systems Adviser for Terra’s Precision Agricultural Services.

Agricultural Crop Consultant

Self-employed, Rio Grande Valley, August 1991 to November 1992.  As an Independent Agricultural Crop Consultant, I consulted and provided technical assistance to area farmers on citrus, cotton, corn, sorghum, sugarcane and vegetable crops.  Advised and consulted farmers on the selection of agricultural products, fertility, variety selection, weed control, pest management and irrigation water management.

Field Sales Representative

Helena Chemical Company, Alamo, TX, May 1987 to August 1991.  As a Field Sales Representative, I Provided technical and consultative assistance to producers, farm managers, chemical dealers and aerial applicators in the Rio Grande Valley and the State of Tamaulipas, Mexico.  Specialized in insecticide and herbicide use on cotton, corn, sorghum, sugarcane and various vegetable crops.

Technical Sales Assistant

ICI Americas, Texas, May 1984 to September 1984, May 1985 to September 1985 and February 1986 to September 1986.  I served a Professional Internship with ICI Americas as part of my summer employment as undergraduate and as a graduate student at Texas A&M University.  I provided technical assistance to ICI Americas Sales Representatives in promotion and sales of chemical products used in cotton production throughout the State of Texas.  

Education

  • Raymondville High School, Raymondville, TX, May 1980.
  • Raymondville FFA, Sentinel, Lone Star Farmer Degree.
  • Bachelor of Science Degree, Entomology, Distinguished Student, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, May 1985.
  • Master of Agriculture, Agricultural Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, May 1987.  Graduate Assistant – Dean of Agriculture Texas A&M University. 

Professional Activities,
Honors, Awards and  Trainings

  • Regional Payment Schedule Manager, Texas/Oklahoma, 2015 – present.
  • Co-Chairman of the Texas State Technical Advisory Committee Soil Health subcommittee.
  • Co-Chairman of the Texas State Technical Advisory Committee Cropland subcommittee.
  • National Soil Health Instructor Cadre, National Soil Health 101 State Trainings, 2013 – present.
  • Soil Health Instructor Cadre, NEDC Soil Health and Sustainability for Field Staff, 2012 – present.
  • Extra Effort Award for your outstanding work with the Texas Soil Health Initiative in FY12U.S.
  • EPA Region 6 CAFO Enforcement Workshop, .
  • Texas Certified Crop Advisers Board, American Society of Agronomy, 2010 – present.
  • NRCS New Mexico Comprehensive Cropping Systems Train-the-Trainer Workshop, 2010.
  • Certified NRCS Conservation Planner, Level III, Texas. 
  • Supervising for Excellence, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2007.
  • Member NOPHNRCSE (National Organization of Hispanic NRCS Employees), 2005 – present.
  • GPS Certification Training 2005.
  • Certified Professional Agronomist, American Society of Agronomy, #08958, 2004 – present.
  • Center Pivot Evaluation & Design (CPED) Training –2003, 2004.
  • Certified CNMP Specialist, 2004 – present.
  • Soil Quality Assessment Training, Temple, TX, 2002.
  • Certified Crop Adviser, American Society of Agronomy, #08958, 1994 – 2004.
  • Texas Certified Nutrient Management Specialist, #TX03003, 2002 – present.
  • Licensed Landscape irrigator, TCEQ, 2000.
  • NRCS Merit Awards 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

Special Skills

  • Expert user of USDA NRCS software, including WEPS, RUSLE2 and SCI for assessment, Customer Toolkit and ArcView for conservation planning, and Protracts for contract management.
  • Proficient user of all Microsoft Office software, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and NetMeeting.
  • Excellent public speaking and communication skills, having trained and taught classes on soils, agronomic practices and conservation at the adult, high school and university levels.