New Class, New Year: NRCS Mentoring Program Secures Class 3
Successful American Actor Denzel Washington is credited with saying, “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living — if you do it well, I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing you the way. A mentor.” He’s right and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) mentor program is proof, now in its third year in partnership with the Arizona Farm Bureau
Last month, in partnership with NRCS, Arizona Farm Bureau hosted Class 2 Conservation Agricultural Mentoring Program (CAMP) graduates during a luncheon event at the Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale. In the meantime, at the same event, the partnership hosted a “kickoff” for the new class, Class 3. Like previous classes, Class 3 is comprised of 10 NRCS employees (proteges) and 8 farm and rancher mentors. Class 3 now begins a 12-month engagement effort with their agriculture mentors to learn more about Arizona agriculture.
Arizona Farm Bureau and The National Resource Conservation Service began a partnership in 2021 to engage in a worthwhile program that aids NRCS employees in understanding Arizona agriculture at the ground level. CAMP provides a mentoring structure between farmers and ranchers and the NRCS employees. While several other states have the NRCS CAMP program, Arizona is unique in that it partners with the Arizona Farm Bureau due to our extensive network of farm and ranch members.
Arizona Farm Bureau and NRCS will continue to shine a bright light on this exciting program and the experiences our mentors and protégé are going through. Watch for protégé/mentor profiles in the coming month with Class 3 on the pages of Arizona Agriculture, Arizona’s leading farm and ranch publication.
NRCS’s Arizona producer-employee mentoring effort creates an organic partnership approach between the agricultural community and NRCS. This effort assists with the completion of the national NRCS’ goal of connecting NRCS employees to local producers for regionalized, hands-on knowledge of production agriculture and local natural resources in Arizona.
The core goals for this partnership effort are that participating NRCS employees (proteges) advance their professional expertise related to:
1. Production of agriculture in their local areas,
2. Local resource concerns, and
3. How NRCS and producers can address local resource concerns.
The outcomes already show a deeper awareness of the types of challenges and decisions our farmers and ranchers face each day and enhance their local community relationships and capacity to provide excellent customer service. It’s also fostered great relationships between mentor and protégé.