Agriculture-related careers represent 11% of Wisconsin’s workforce – that’s nearly 1 in 9 Wisconsin jobs involved in agriculture. Sustainability matters from the farmer’s gate to the consumer’s plate. Each step of the supply chain has their own priorities when it comes to preserving resources and ensuring success for the next generation.
Soil conservationists work with landowners to make conservation plans and assist farmers in implementing programs designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals. They help farmers meet their goals of productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
Hear from USDA-NRCS Soil Conservationist, Derek Husmoen, about his role and how sustainability impacts his work with farmers.
Hometown/County: Arcadia, WI / Trempealeau County
Job Title: Soil Conservationist
Employer: U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)
Location: Buffalo County, WI
Summary of job description: I work with farmers and private landowners to help protect natural resources on their land by providing technical and financial assistance. NRCS is involved with activities that benefit soil, water, plants, animals, air, energy, etc. I help identify resource concerns on the landscape and then assist in developing solutions to address and solve those issues using conservation practices. As part of my job duties, I communicate and meet with landowners, provide conservation advice and resources to farmers, and develop and revise conservation plans. In addition, I work to implement Farm Bill programs and facilitate/manage financial assistance contracts to get conservation practices on the ground. All of this work aids farmers in achieving conservation improvements on their operation and becoming better stewards of the land.
How do you help farmers be more sustainable? To be more sustainable, I believe you need to have both an understanding of a situation and a willingness to make a change or try something new. As a soil conservationist, I get to help facilitate this process. I take great pride when I can help a farmer or landowner recognize an issue and develop a solution that helps their agricultural operation become more profitable, efficient, diverse, eco-friendly, or successful for future generations.
What terms/words do you associate with sustainability in the field?
- Preserve and Protect
Thank you, Derek, for your commitment to Wisconsin agriculture!