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Civil Rights for employees and customers of NRCS

And Justice For All Poster


In New Jersey, the Natural Resources Conservation Service staff work 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.

Julie Hawkins, State Conservationist, is the Deputy Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer. They can be reached at (732) 537-6040.

Maria Collazo, Assistant State Conservationist for Management & Strategies,  is the Civil Rights/EEO Liaison Officer NRCS. She can be reached at (732) 537-6043.

Civil Rights Advisory Committee

Committee members-at-large and the Special Emphasis Program Managers 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.

Special Emphasis Program Managers

Annual Special Emphasis Program Celebrations

  • Black History Month - February
  • Women's History Month - March
  • Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month - May
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Month - June
  • Memorial Day - Last Monday in May
  • Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15 to October 15
  • Disability Awareness Month - October
  • American Indian / Alaska Native Awareness Month - November
  • Veteran's Day - November 11

The Civil Rights Advisory Committee meets 4 times per year. All employees are welcome, with supervisor's permission. Contact  Jill Ott for more details.

Other Links

  • Employee Assistance Program/Employee Counseling

    Employee Assistance Program
    (800) 222-0364 |  (888) 262-7848 (TTY)

    Online Access - (click “enter”)
    Available 24 hours a day – 7 days a week
    Professional – Confidential – FREE 


Applicants for USDA Service

Agency employees are trained to follow program rules and regulations, and they work hard to do just that. When an employee makes a decision on your request for USDA services or application, you will receive a letter that will inform you of this decision and your choices if you disagree. If you believe that the decision was based on discrimination or retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint. In this case, you may request a Program Discrimination Complaint form and information sheet (available at USDA Service Centers) or write a letter of complaint to the USDA Office of Civil Rights (see below).

Outreach in New Jersey

NRCS programs and services are accessible to all customers, but we place special emphasis on those who may be underserved. Historically, underserved audiences have included minorities, tribes, women, the disabled, new farmers, limited resource farmers and small-scale farmers. Underserved audiences can also include other groups of customers, such as new immigrant or refugee farmers or organic producers. We work to ensure that underserved individuals and groups throughout New Jersey and the United States are made aware of, understand and have a working knowledge of USDA programs and services.

  • New Jersey Outreach Coordinator: Lauren Finnigan, Public Affairs Specialist (732) 537-6044

Non-Discrimination Statement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers. If you believe you experienced discrimination when obtaining services from USDA, participating in a USDA program, or participating in a program that receives financial assistance from USDA, you may file a complaint with USDA. Information about how to file a discrimination complaint is available from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.

USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex (including gender identity and expression), marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs, genetic information, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

To file a complaint of discrimination, complete, sign and mail a program discrimination complaint form, available at any USDA office location or online at, or write to:

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

Or call toll free at (866) 632-9992 (voice) to obtain additional information, the appropriate office or to request documents. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act -This is the reporting page for the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (NO FEAR Act), Public Law 107-174.



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Environmental Justice

Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice, issued in February of 1994, provides direction to all federal agencies to incorporate Environmental Justice concerns into our existing programs. Environmental Justice is a mandate to change or make the difference in the lives of those who could be or have been adversely impacted by environmental effects resulting from government actions. All populations, including minority and low-income, are provided the opportunity to comment before decisions are made on government programs and activities affecting human health or the environment. These groups are provided the opportunity to share in the benefits of, and be or not be excluded from, and not affected in a disproportionately high and adverse manner, by these programs and activities. NRCS is committed to incorporating Environmental Justice considerations into all programs and activities.


If you need a Civil Rights/EEO counselor, contact the USDA Office of Civil Rights Informal EEO Counseling Program. Employee EEO complaints should be directed to NRCS Civil Rights Division (732) 537-6081.

Reasonable Accommodation and Accessibility

Every effort is made to accommodate employees, partners and customers with special needs. Please see the Disabilities Emphasis Program page for details.


This page last updated August 31, 2020