Natural Resources Conservation Service

www.nrcs.usda.gov
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Natural Resources Conservation Service Reviews

Updated August 3, 2015
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23 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good place to balance family and work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Natural Resources Conservation Service (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flexible work schedule, good benefits, advancement potential if mobile

    Cons

    limited advancement if not mobile, typical government problem of having some employees with the attitude of wanting to do as little as possible, salaries based on time in grade rather than performance, little financial motivation to do a good job


  2. Good Organization with potential to be great

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bozeman, MT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bozeman, MT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Natural Resources Conservation Service full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Helping private landowners manage their land, putting federal dollars towards natural resource conservation and mitigating degraded areas.

    Cons

    The ability to implement some conservation practices and projects is hindered by policy and is difficult to work around.


  3. Great mission, good field experience, low employee satisfaction, poor opportunities for advancement.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Soil Conservationist in Annapolis, MD
    Former Employee - Soil Conservationist in Annapolis, MD
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Natural Resources Conservation Service (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Learn a great deal from very experienced field folks in conservation and agriculture. Work/life balance is good; understanding of sick leave, moderately understanding of personal leave and flex schedules. Most really care about the mission of getting "conservation on the ground." Because of that you do often feel a sense of contributing to the greater good. Lot's of opportunities to get exposed to different aspects of environmental and agriculture work including, regulatory, political, private sector, and non-profit. Very few other organizations where you can gain the same skill set.

    Cons

    They don't value new/young employees. Training is not equitable; meaning there is not equal access to conservation planning training for all staff. You may find yourself fighting to get adequate training and therefore promotions (since the two are linked). Internal politics is rampant and can be difficult to navigate. Many disgruntled employees in the field offices. Pessimistic views towards the direction of organization, leadership, co-workers, and the ability to accomplish mission goals are widespread throughout different levels of the organization. Good ole boys club is strong! Promotions are difficult to come by. Mentorship program is a joke; great idea--but needs re-tooling. Definite inequities along color and gender lines. I agree with everything in the review, “Bad attitudes, poor communication, and general ineptitude.” Finally, upper level managements does not really care about employees satisfaction.

    Advice to Management

    Foster a culture where new employees are valued, not treated like office flunky's and interns. Allow for advancement within your home state! Provide more support to field offices. Take pro-active, not reactionary steps to ensure equality for minorities (women and people of color) within USDA. Foster a culture where work/life balance offerings of USDA are equally "acceptable" whether you are located at HQ, State, or Field offices.


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  5. Good pay, till it runs out

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technician in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Technician in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Natural Resources Conservation Service part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Was a great working experience with lots of learning and challenges. My co-workers and supervisor are all knowledgeable and were very supportive of me as a newbie, enjoyed working with them.

    Cons

    I had a solid salary but there are a lot of departments all with their own budget, and I worked through a co-op so our budget was cut short. Cans be politics in government and it's hard to progress.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the communication, it's great knowing the people you work with.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Bad attitudes, poor communication, and general ineptitude

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Flint, MI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Flint, MI
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Natural Resources Conservation Service full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Work-life balance; generally very flexible and understanding about taking time off or taking sick leave

    Cons

    Training is promised to new employees but can take a long time to be delivered; Michigan NRCS promotes based on longevity rather than skill or qualification, and some offices perpetuate racist and sexists stereotypes and attitudes. Older employees harass recent graduates based on age and do not respect anyone younger than 45. Professionalism is non-existant. Communication is nonexistent. Supervisors and HR personnel are clueless and pass responsibility off rather than trying to solve problems. If you are a woman, a person of color, especially if you are young I would highly recommend you stay away from the field offices in Michigan. If you are new to the USDA, I would strongly recommend staying away, as Michigan NRCS staff have no clue how to assist new employees in basic needs like filling out required paperwork.

    Advice to Management

    NRCS has a clear policy of valuing diversity: honor it. Be welcoming to new employees and drop the "You ain't from around here' attitude when they start. Treat women like human beings, and do not talk down to them. Do not make jokes about African Americans. Learn how to communicate like adults and speak to counterparts in other offices rather than complain about them. HONOR NRCS's CULTURAL DIVERSITY POLICY.


  7. My experience is that the agency is in the midst of a major change in which it is becoming more program driven.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Soil Conservationist in Columbia, SC
    Current Employee - Soil Conservationist in Columbia, SC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    You get to work with people that share a genuine love for the land and natural resources.

    Cons

    The agency is understaffed and most employees are stressed and have low morale

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to increase morale and bring on new field staff when possible.


  8. Great Mission, Lots of bureaucracy, cog in the machine.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Natural Resources Conservation Service full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I love working in conservation and NRCS provides an opportunity to protect our nation's resources: soil, water, air, plants and animals. It is a great and fulfilling opportunity. The people are great and challenge is greater, but 100% essential.

    Cons

    It is hard to get ahead. There are a lot of politics and government social initiatives can overwhelm the agency's core mission. Managers tend to timid and stick to the script rather than take chances. Initial enthusiasm can quickly become mired in red tape and mind numbing detail.

    Advice to Management

    Let people do their jobs the best way they know how. Empower staff and hold them responsible for their actions and outcomes. Clearly define goals and outcomes. Reward good work. Focus on the core mission.


  9. Fulfilling job!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Natural Resources Conservation Service full-time

    Pros

    Enjoyed the atmosphere and work

    Cons

    Wanted more income, but otherwise was great


  10. Nothing special

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Soil Conservationist
    Current Employee - Soil Conservationist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Natural Resources Conservation Service full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Job security, retirement options, inability to be fired

    Cons

    Extreme favoritism to minorities, lack of communication (news outlets reporting information before field has info), Mobility Requirement (move job every couple of years), lackadaisical workforce for the most part, Paperwork required for simple tasks.

    Advice to Management

    Embarrassed to be a federal employee of this agency most of the time, no common sense or backbone from leadership. It is impossible for horrible employees to be fired for fear of litigation therefore agency is crammed with inadequate employees.


  11. Be ready to move around

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Latitude to do a lot by your own schedule. Lots of time in the field, so the workplace doesn't get monotonous.

    Cons

    You are expected to move to different offices in the state fairly regularly. My supervisor had been in five offices in five years, a common scenario. This is not a con for everyone, but was for me. Also, upper level managers were the picture of bureaucratic narcissism

    Advice to Management

    See last sentence above.



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