Welcome to the new Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Mississippi website!The tabs at the top of the page are linked to the general NRCS information. For Mississippi's specific information, continue scrolling down the page.
The Mississippi Natural Resources Conservation Service has a proud history of supporting America's farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners.
Meet Kurt Readus – State Conservationist of Mississippi
Since 2013, Kurt Readus has served as the State Conservationist for Mississippi.
Kurt was born and raised in North Alabama. He graduated from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. Kurt has twenty-five years of service with Natural Resources Conservation, beginning as a student trainee in Arizona and Alabama in 1998.
After two years as a student trainee, Readus became a Soil Conservationist. In 2005, he was promoted to District Conservationist in the Avondale Field Office in Arizona. In 2007, he accepted the position of Area Conservationist for Central Mississippi. He guided twenty-one field offices and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) Tribal Field Office. He served as Assistant State Conservationist for Programs in Mississippi from January 2011 to September 2013. In September 2013, he became the State Conservationist for Mississippi.
During his career with NRCS, he has served on various details, which include National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as the Acting Deputy Chief for Science and Technology, Director of Financial Assistance Programs Division, National Conservation Stewardship Team, and Acting Deputy State Conservationist for California.
He is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute, Certificate of Mastery, Leadership for a Democratic Society August 2018, Leadership Mississippi Class of 2016, Mississippi Economic Council, M.B. Swayze Foundation, and the National Leadership Development Program, National Employee Development Center, Class of 2010.
He is married to Dr. Fonda Readus and has five beautiful children to keep his heart and mind on the country's future.
For more than 80 years, we have helped people make investments in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the quality of our air, water, soil, and habitat.
- Our Mission: We deliver conservation solutions so agricultural producers can protect natural resources and feed a growing world.
- Our Vision: A world of clean and abundant water, healthy soils, resilient landscapes, and thriving agricultural communities through voluntary conservation.
Who We Are and What We Do
Who We Are
- Mississippi USDA-NRCS helps protect producers and conserve our valuable natural resources, which services all 82 counties across the state while drawing on the history of helping people help the land.
- Mississippi USDA-NRCS also closely partnered with farmers and ranchers, local and state governments, and other federal agencies to maintain healthy and productive working landscapes.
What We Do
We provide services to all private landowners interested in restoring and enhancing our sprawling landscape through a unique partnership with landowners, conservation districts, state and local governments, and rural and urban citizens.
- NRCS provides one-on-one, personal advice on the best solutions to meet the unique conservation and business goals of those who grow our nation's food and fiber.
- NRCS helps people invest in their operations and local communities to keep working lands working, boost rural economies, increase the competitiveness of American agriculture, and improve the health of our air, water, soil, and habitat.
- NRCS generates, manages, and shares the data, technology, and standards that enable partners and policymakers to make decisions informed by objective, reliable science.
Hear it First here! NRCS Mississippi Latest News Releases
Mississippi's Important Ranking Dates
The Mississippi Natural Resources Conservation Service has a proud history of supporting America's farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners.
NRCS accepts applications year-round. Apply by your state's ranking dates to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Funding is provided through a competitive process. If you apply after the program ranking date, NRCS will automatically consider your application during the next cycle.
- ACEP, October 28, 2022
- IRA-ACEP, March 17, 2023
- CSP sign-up deadline, February 9, 2023
- IRA-CSP, March 17, 2023
- EQIP, October 28, 2022
- IRA-EQIP, March 17, 2023
For more information regarding Ranking Dates, please read News Release below.
Directory and Annual Report FY23
Apply Today with NRCS Mississippi!
Welcome to My NRCS Career!
Whether you are an established NRCS employee looking for career path information or you are browsing potential careers with NRCS for the first time, this website will provide the information you are seeking. You can:
- Learn about life at NRCS Federal employment, or current job openings with NRCS
- Plan your career using career maps and career guide information for NRCS occupations.
- Learn about our current employment programs for students and recent graduates.
Student and Recent Graduate Programs
Welcome to the NRCS Students and Recent Graduates information center! This is your one-stop site for information about student and recent graduate opportunities at NRCS. We offer internships for high school students and degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students studying agricultural and natural resources-related fields such as plant pathology, agronomy, range science, soil science, forestry, ecology, botany, biology, civil and agricultural engineering. We also offer programs for recent graduates from qualifying institutions. Please find information regarding your eligibility below.
The Pathways Programs offer clear paths to opportunities with NRCS for students from high school through post-graduate school. The Pathways Programs consist of the Internship Program, the Recent Graduates Program, and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.
This program is targeted at current students and individuals accepted for enrollment in a qualifying educational program. This program provides students enrolled in a variety of educational institutions, with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school.
The Recent Graduate program targets individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. Eligible applicants must have applied within two years of degree or certificate completion. Successful applicants will be placed in a dynamic, one-year career development program.
Presidential Management Fellows Program
The PMF program is the Federal Government's premier leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. This program is aligned with academic calendars, allowing those who have received a qualifying advanced degree within the preceding two years to participate. The PMF experience is the most robust and substantive option available to student participants.
Higher Education Partnerships
USDA works to establish opportunities that ensure equitable participation in USDA programs, services, and resources for rural, tribal, and historically underserved students. These partnerships support capacity building initiatives that bolster education and career opportunities for students and faculty and help develop a strong pipeline of talent for USDA.
1890 Land-Grant Institutions National Program
The 1890 National Scholars Program is available to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college, and college sophomores. The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and room and board to students at 1890 Land-Grant Universities pursuing degrees in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines. When the student has completed the academic and summer work requirements of the scholarship, USDA may convert the student to a permanent employee without further competition.
The USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program seeks to increase the number of American Indian and Alaska Native students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and related disciplines. The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and room and board to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, food science, natural resource science, or a related academic discipline at one of 35 federally recognized tribal colleges and universities. When the student has completed the program, USDA may convert the student to a permanent employee without further competition.
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MS NRCS Employee Links!
NRCS Employee Web Resources
- Concur Travel System
- Conservation Desktop
- eDirectives System
- Employee Personal Page
- Exhibits & Displays
- FA Tracker
- FMI document management system
- FOTG - Field Office Technical Guide
- FSA Compliance Review System
- My FPAC website
- National Planning Procedures Handbook
- National Handbook of Conservation Practices
- National Publications & Distribution Center (previously LANDCARE)
- NEST (Easements Staging Tool)
- New Employee Information
- NFC - National Finance Center
- PRS – Performance and Results Measurement System
- Receipt for Service
- Resource Stewardship (RSET)
- Science & Technology Training Library
- Soil Resources
- Thrift Savings Plan
- Vehicle Management Tool
- Mississippi SharePoint
NRCS Mississippi Newsroom
Mississippi Soils, Engineering, & Technical Resources
Earth Team Volunteers. Volunteer Today!
What is the Earth Team?
The Earth Team is the volunteer workforce of the NRCS, and we are making a difference in every county in the nation.
NRCS partners with conservation groups and others to ensure private lands are conserved, restored, and more resilient to environmental challenges like climate change. Working side-by-side with farmers and ranchers, the NRCS identifies natural resource concerns, such as soil erosion and water quality issues, and develops unique conservation plans for restoring and protecting resources.
Earth Team volunteers are an integral part of the conservation partnership, and each member takes pride in the fact that they maintain and improve our natural resources and environment on private lands.
The job of conserving our natural resources cannot be done by the government alone. We need your help in reducing soil erosion, conserving our water and improving its quality, and developing pride in our country's natural resource heritage.
How Can I Volunteer?
Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older to join our Earth Team Volunteer Program. Those who are interested in conserving and protecting our precious natural resources, can join. As a volunteer, you can work part-time or full-time, evenings or weekends, outdoors or indoors, or you can volunteer as an individual or in a group!
As an Earth Team volunteer, you will work with professionals on conservation activities in your community. Whatever your talents or interests, there is a volunteer opportunity for you.
The opportunities are endless! Contact an Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator today or visit your local NRCS Office to find out more about how you can be a part of the NRCS Earth Team Volunteer Program.
On the land
You can help professional conservationists who are working directly with farmers and ranchers to:
- Plan, lay out, and design conservation practices.
- Establish and Improve Wildlife Habitat
- Plant Trees
- Generate natural resource inventories.
- Map Soils
In the community
If you like being out in the community, you can assist elementary and high schools, and college and universities. You will be able to introduce to young people - and adults alike - the importance of conservation. Through cooperative Earth Team conservation efforts, you can help educate and solve many natural resource problems in your area by:
- Organizing special conservation tours and and fairs
- Planning conservation activities
- Taking photographs
- Writing articles
- Speaking to community groups and organizations
- Producing artwork and publications
In the office
If you like an office setting, NRCS seeks your talents and clerical assistance in many ways, including:
- Preparing newsletters
- Computer data entry and programming
- Typing, filing, and answering phones
- Copying documents
- Social media
- Educating others about natural resource conservation
State Payment Schedule
NRCS provides financial assistance for selected conservation practices. The availability and amount of financial assistance can vary between states.
Civil Rights Committee
The National Civil Rights Advisory Committee to the Chief (NCRACC) is designed to provide management officials and employees with counsel and advice to enhance and ensure compliance with their equal employment opportunity and program delivery responsibilities.
State Technical Committee
State Technical Committees serve in an advisory capacity to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and other agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the implementation of the natural resources conservation provisions of Farm Bill legislation.
How to Get Assistance
Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?
Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.
To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.
NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.
We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:
- To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
- To meet other eligibility certifications.
Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.
Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.
As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:
- An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
- A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
- A farm tract number.
If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.
NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.
If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.
Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.