ACES Enrollee Mary Ann Hainsworth, a Conservation Implementation Specialist, began working with the Wellington Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in January 2011. She provides assistance with everything from staking in the field to conservation contract support. The area where she works, Sumner County, is considered the “Wheat Capital of the World” so the NRCS plays a large role in managing the land. They implement waterway and terrace systems and are very busy with adding wildlife habitat through their Conservation Reserve Programs (CRP). “We try and concentrate on taking our marginal cropland and enrolling this land into a CRP practice that would benefit our wildlife,” says Mary Ann.
Within her position, she focuses on providing resources and support to the land-owners in the area, “my customers are my main consideration, we communicate a lot with landowners that live outside our area as well as their producers that live here and manage the land. The goal is to develop strong relationships that make them comfortable enough to ask us questions and understand that we have their best interest at heart.” She also works closely with Farm Services Agency partners as well as contractors and venders.
Prior to joining the ACES Program, Mary Ann was a Soil Conservation Technician with the Wellington NRCS for over 22 years. “It’s just like I never retired, I am like the Energizer Bunny, I keep going and going.” She feels lucky to enjoy the work she does and the people she works with; and greatly enjoys the opportunity to spend a lot of time outside.
Outside of working with the NRCS, Mary Ann and her husband, Ron, have a State License Animal Rescue. They are set up to care for the senior dogs that need special care. They provide a home to 50 “four-legged kids,” with two-thirds of them over 10 years of age. They also show and care for 13 head of Quarter Horses. “The ACES program allows me to continue what I love to do, but also allows me the time to put towards my outside activities.