I have worked for the USDA-NRCS for the past 29 -years; I have been in the State Agronomist position for 10-years; I have also worked as a District Conservationist, field agronomist, conservation planner. In NM, the main agronomic issues that I have worked on are: irrigation water management, salinity mgt., nutrient mgt., cropping systems that build soil health (i.e., crop rotations, cover crops, high quality compost, hoop houses, subsurface drip irrigation, minimum-till, salinity mgt., etc.). I accepted the position as Regional Soil Health Specialist for the states of Utah, Arizona, NM and Colorado since October 2016; in this new position, my major responsibility is to facilitate the adoption of soil health management systems. This will require that I work with our NRCS State Offices/Specialists, conservation partners, producers, Plant Material Center and others to identify training needs, keeping our staff updated on the latest soil health findings/assessments, tools, etc. The major emphasis will be to advance the art and science of building healthy soils through our NRCS conservation practices/management, by understanding how the soil resource ecosystem functions. Emphasis is on building healthy and productive soils that protect the natural resources.
Typical Topic Description:
How to implement soil health principles (i.e., maximize biodiversity, maximize roots throughout the year, maximize soil cover, and minimize soil disturbance). How to conduct basic soil health assessments and interpret soil health indicators and use this information to plan a soil health management system (e.g., cover crops, irrigation systems, crop rotations, compost, nutrient mgt., Salinity mgt., Irrigation systems, etc.).