Man in Farm

Natural Resources Conservation Service

History

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a federal agency and a partner of the Allegan Conservation District. We are co-located in the same office in the USDA Allegan Service Center. This collaborative office set-up, and similarity in our agencies’ missions allows us to support one another in local conservation efforts and assist clients in finding which conservation program(s) are best suited to their needs. 

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Since 1935, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (originally called the Soil Conservation Service) has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America’s private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources. While our agency name has changed, we are still dedicated to managing natural resource conservation programs and providing technical assistance to landowners and farmers who are interested in gaining environmental, societal, and financial benefits.

Hands in the Soil

What We Do

NRCS employees provide technical assistance based on sound science, and it is customized to meet a customer’s specific needs. We provide financial assistance for many conservation activities. Participation in our programs is voluntary, and we work to meet you where your needs are. Contact us for more information on how we can help you meet your conservation goals. 

 

Our team has a breadth of experience tending to all natural resource concerns, but our focuses are soil health and regenerative agriculture. 

Farm Bills & Programs

The NRCS has many programs available for implementing conservation activities and supporting landowners and managers. Our office focuses on the following projects.

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EQIP provides access to technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers who are interested in implementing conservation practices on their land. This is a great opportunity for producers who are learning about and engaging with conservation practices for the first time. All of the conservation practices this program sponsors can lead to improved agricultural operations, and assist in creating healthier soil, clean air and water, and improved wildlife habitat. 

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CSP is a program for agricultural producers to improve upon existing conservation practices. By providing technical support and financial assistance, NRCS will work with you to identify and address resource concerns within your farming systems. 

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CRP is made available through the Farm Service Agency. This program offers financial incentives to landowners and farmers to protect fragile parcels of land that are prone to erosion. Depending on the land, the NRCS consultant will provide landowners with options on how to best cover this sensitive land with vegetative cover. 

These programs are made available and accessible to all interested parties. We work to reach out to all segments of the agricultural community, including underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. 

Allegan County District Conservationist

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Gabe Garbarino began serving as the District Conservationist for Allegan County in September of 2020. He has worked for NRCS for 15 years, serving in both northern California and Iowa. This has given him the opportunity to gain conservation planning experience in a wide variety of agricultural landscapes, as well as work with a diverse group of farmers and stakeholders. Gabe is a big believer in the important partnership between the NRCS and Conservation Districts, because it allows the local community to have a voice in how Farm Bill programs can best be used on the local landscape. The District board members and workgroup provide critical input in determining what the local resource concerns are and how Federal Conservation programs can be used to address those issues. Gabe is excited to cooperate with the conservation district and other partners, especially in exploring the areas of soil health and regenerative agriculture.  He can be reached directly at 269-641-6130, so please reach out to say hi!

Contact Our Team

Office Phone: 269-673-6940 x3

Gabe Garbarino

District Conservationist 

gabe.garbarino@usda.gov

Direct Phone: (269) 641-6130

Justin Jacobs

Soil Conservationist 

justin.jacobs@usda.gov

AnneMarie Chavez

Soil Conservation Technician

annemarie.chavez@usda.gov