USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service acting chief Kevin Norton announced in mid-September the selection of Jon Hubbert as Iowa’s state conservationist for NRCS. Hubbert replaces Kurt Simon, who retired at the end of July after serving as state conservationist in Iowa for nearly five years. Hubbert officially begins his new duties Oct. 11.
Prior to being named to his new post, Hubbert served as NRCS assistant state conservationist for programs in Iowa. He’s been with the federal government agency for 33 years — the past 10 in Iowa. Prior to that, Hubbert served for six years as the assistant state conservationist for field operations in northeast Illinois and for 17 years as a district conservationist in central Illinois.
SOIL LEADER: As state conservationist, Jon Hubbert will administer NRCS operations, programs and related activities in Iowa.
As a member of the NRCS leadership team, Hubbert has led efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of NRCS services. He’s also helped improve coordination within the Iowa Conservation Partnership, leading to an increase in voluntary, incentive-based conservation on private lands. In 2018, Hubbert served as acting state conservationist in Iowa and recently completed a stint as acting state conservationist in Virginia.
NRCS helps farmers
In his new position as head of NRCS in Iowa, Hubbert will oversee a staff of about 500 employees located at more than 100 Iowa offices.
NRCS has been America’s premier private lands conservation agency for 85 years. Born out of troubled times as the Soil Conservation Service following the Dust Bowl, USDA renamed the agency in 1994 to highlight the broader mission of natural resource conservation. Today, through voluntary conservation programs and planning, NRCS helps producers, soil and water conservation districts, and other partners protect and conserve natural resources.
With its nearly 500 employees, Iowa is second to Texas in the number of full-time NRCS staff members. NRCS employs soil conservationists, engineers, soil scientists, technicians, program specialists and administrative professionals. In 2019, Iowa NRCS employees wrote more than 13,000 conservation plans and obligated $53 million in financial assistance to help treat more than 315,000 Iowa farm acres. For more information about Iowa NRCS, visit ia.nrcs.usda.gov.
Johnson is state public affairs specialist for NRCS.