LINCOLN– USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 10-16 by honoring Earth Team volunteers and recognizing their dedicated commitment to conservation.
The NRCS works with farmers and ranchers to help conserve natural resources on their operations. The Earth Team is NRCS’ volunteer workforce.
According to NRCS State Conservationist Craig Derickson, Earth Team volunteers are making a big impact in Nebraska. In fiscal year 2015, Nebraska NRCS had a total of 213 Earth Team Volunteers that contributed over 7,000 hours towards helping NRCS and our partners.
“That’s worth over $160,000* of benefit to our customers and savings to the taxpayers,” said Derickson. “These are impressive numbers and we are grateful for the help, but also know more conservation work needs to be done, so there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available with NRCS across Nebraska.”
Created in 1985, the Earth Team volunteer program offers many opportunities to individuals over the age of 14 interested in helping improve the Nation’s natural resources. Over a half-million Earth Team volunteers have over $330 million worth of time helping NRCS with its conservation mission since 1985.
Derickson said, “Earth Team volunteers allow us to stretch available resources and help us put additional conservation practices on the ground. Their volunteer efforts help us improve our land and wildlife habitat, clean our water and air, and help us improve the environment for all Nebraskans.”
Derickson said he hopes National Volunteer Week will motivate others to volunteer to help NRCS with their conservation mission.
To learn more about the Earth Team Volunteer Program visit: www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov and click on “Volunteer with Nebraska NRCS” or call (toll-free) 888-526-3227.