David Graves began his ACES assignment in November 2006 during the ACES Pilot Program working from the Gate City office in Scott county but also serving the NRCS office in Russell County, VA.
David’s primary responsibilities include meeting with producers to determine how the motto of ‘preserving the soil and the water’ can be applied to an individual landowner’s property. Other duties include assisting in measuring completed practices that landowners have incorporated into their farm plans, surveying for water systems and determining what current USDA programs might be applicable to their individual farms.
David holds a BS Degree in agriculture from the University of Missouri. After spending a number of years in the Midwest on a livestock and grain farm and raising registered Angus cattle, the family decided to move to Florida. According to David, “My wife’s family was already semi-retired and living in Florida, so that made the move easier. After 24 years as an inspector with the Florida Dept. of Agriculture, we decided to move again to this area (southwest VA) to be closer to our daughter and granddaughters.”
David says, “I have spent my entire life involved and connected to agriculture, from being raised on a family farm and involved with the production end of agriculture to being responsible for the regulation of agriculture products in Florida. The best people in the world are farm people and I have always enjoyed being associated with them. I never thought when I worked part-time for the “old SCS” (Soil Conservation Service) in Missouri that I would someday be reunited with the same agency (now NRCS) in Virginia. The people that I have the privilege of working with in Gate City and Christiansburg are some of the best you will find anywhere in the country. As our nation undergoes a demographic shift with people living longer and healthier lives, programs such as the ACES program will be vital to replace younger workers who will be fewer in number. In the years ahead, preserving our soil and protecting our water resources cannot be emphasized enough. I personally appreciate the opportunity to be involved.”