Larry Johnson, OH ACES Enrollee

Larry Johnson, OH ACES Enrollee

Larry Johnson was encouraged to apply for a position in the NOWCC ACES Program in October 2006 by Jackson County District Conservationist, Alan Rees. Rees, a DC for two counties in Ohio, was looking to broaden the applicant pool for a position in his area so he contacted Larry to “just come in for an interview”. Larry had been retired for 6 years and was not at all sure he wanted to go back to work. As it turned out, the other two candidates decided on other things, so Larry decided to “give it a try”. Of course, Rees was excited to gain quality, experienced help for his area at a reasonable rate of pay. Larry is currently a Level 2, Conservationist Planning and Implementation Specialist in Jackson, Ohio.

Larry Johnson retired from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife in 2000 where he had worked for 16 years serving nine counties from the Athens District Office. The conservation work carried out by NRCS on Ohio’s private lands is usually done in partnership with other organizations. The ODNR Division of Wildlife is one of the most effective partners NRCS collaborates with to promote wildlife habitat through their many private lands biologists. Larry was one of those talented private lands biologists.

Some of Larry’s duties during his 3 day work week consist of assisting the civil engineering technician, Rob Rhyan, with inspections, investigations, and planning for primarily livestock-based conservation practices such as spring developments, heavy use pads or access roads. The remainder of Larry’s work week is either spent helping Alan make customer calls or working with the soil conservationist on Vinton County projects. The photo above shows Larry working in the field surveying conservation practices. With Larry doing most of the field work, Alan has more time to work on program contracts and payments.

The fact that Larry has lived his entire life in Jackson County has been quite helpful in getting people involved in NRCS programs; he says he knows the county and its residents like the back of his hand. His grandfather settled and began farming in Jackson County over 100 years ago. Larry and his wife, Charlotte now work the farm.

 

October 2016 Update

Retirement is nice but Larry Johnson has found that part time work without the stress of a full time job is wonderful! The ACES program has been great for him. He has enjoyed the opportunity to remain active and help with the programs and projects (within his home county) administered by Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Over the past 9 years as an ACES enrollee, Larry has seen many organizational changes within NRCS but the agency has evolved in order to continue serving area needs.

For about three years Larry has worked on a project with the Wetland Reserve Program that is in the process of being completed. It has been a long process but he is proud to have involved in it.

Currently, he is working on a new project called StrikeForce: USDA StrikeForce Pasture Improvement Project – Ohio that goes through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program for his area.  The team has been very successful in getting land owners to sign up for this cost-sharing conservation program.
Larry still enjoys turkey hunting. He and his wife still travel and visit with their daughters and grandchildren.  Each year, they try to visit a new place or two within the US.  They are active in their church and “thank GOD each day we are healthy and are able to travel each year”.