The Natural Resources Conservation Service has a long history of international involvement. Our first Chief, Hugh Hammond Bennett, and his assistant, Dr. Walter Lowdermilk, traveled throughout the world in the 1930's and 1940's to view soil and water conservation problems in other countries. Dr. Lowdermilk documented his observations in "Conquest of the Land Through 7,000 Years". During this same period, NRCS hosted many international participants from other countries who observed what we were doing to combat serious soil erosion and land use problems.
Not only did our early leaders share their conservation knowledge with other countries, but they also learned what other nations were doing that would be applicable in the United States. Our continued interest in international work is based on these early observations.
The role of international programs in NRCS is to help other countries utilize their natural resources without depleting them by providing technical assistance; exchanging scientific and technical information; contributing to the overall achievement of U.S. foreign policy that seeks to promote economic stability, reduce poverty, and solve world food problems; and providing opportunities that will broaden and increase the technical knowledge and professional capability of NRCS personnel.
Our vision is that NRCS will be the world leader in developing and implementing policies and programs for the conservation of natural resources and solicited for assistance and advice.
Our mission is to share natural resource conservation knowledge with people in other countries and participate in collaborative efforts that will result in mutual benefits to the United States and our foreign partners.
Download a fact sheet about International Program Division's work (PDF, 723KB)
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