Severe Weather Damage – Call NRCS

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has been a part of USDA since 1935, and it actually began as a resource during a time when “the wastage of soil and moisture resources on farm, grazing, and forest lands” became a menace to the national welfare. That was the language adopted under Public Law 74-46.

Today, NRCS is still helping farmers and land owners address the loss of topsoil and changing weather conditions. Terry Cosby, Chief of the NRCS, visited Wisconsin for the Sand County Foundation National Conservation Symposium. During a conversation with Pam Jahnke, Cosby explained that NRCS is still one of the first agencies to “get the call” when wildfires, flooding, hurricanes and other natural disasters occur. Cosby says they not only offer technical and financial assistance to help farmers and livestock producers recover from adverse weather events. They also have programs to help with recovery efforts from crop, land, infrastructure, and livestock losses.


Cosby said they’re continuing to try and educate not only the agricultural public about services available through NRCS, but they’re also expanding outreach to urban areas. “They want to be involved,” Cosby says. “A lot of these folks moved from the country – moved to town. They’ve been gone maybe a couple generations, but they still have that farming or gardening in their blood.” Cosby says they saw a strong surge in engagement with underserved groups, veterans, and beginning farmers, especially since the pandemic.

He estimates that NRCS offices nationwide have experienced about a 300% increase in traffic through their offices. To help address the increase in requests, Cosby is trying to add staff at an aggressive rate. “When I became chief nearly four years ago, we had about 8,000 employees,” he says. “Today, we’ve got around 11,000 and within the next 2-3 years I’d like to add an additional 4,000 employees.” So NRCS is heavily recruiting everywhere, for many different positions. Cosby acknowledges that some of the more challenging areas to find qualified candidates are in the soil sciences arenas. He says many universities have dropped soil science classes, limiting his pool of candidates.

To find available jobs through NRCS, or to tap into some of the programs that are available, go to