ACES Enrollee, Daniel Moreno, has been serving the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Field Office in Sterling, Colorado as an Engineering Technician since March 2012.
He is responsible for setting up training plans for individuals with minimal experience in surveying, design and checkout of conservation practices. Additionally, he works on designs for neighboring offices, reviews their plans, provides guidance and answers any questions. Most recently, he has been focused on mentoring younger employees and teaching them the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of engineering work, “I really enjoy working with the younger people. I work with 16 field offices that are located in Area 2.”
Recently, he has helped design some irrigation group projects. Last year he designed a pipeline project that serves four farms totaling over 1,300 acres. He helped replace 3.5 miles of earth ditch with underground pipelines which transport approximately 8,000 gallons of water for irrigation. “It is pretty gratifying when you see the results of your project and the benefits that the farmers are getting. We always get good compliments when we see individuals who we worked with” says Moreno.
Dan is currently working with a neighboring office on a stock water project on 22,000 acres of grassland. This project will provide water to the cattle and help the rancher with better management of the grasslands. This project consists of five miles of pipeline and provides water for 12 watering facilities. These are the types of projects that Dan likes to work on because “they are fun” - they are a challenge and require some thinking. The best part is seeing all of the good that the agency is doing to help our stewards of the land.
Mr. Moreno also works with Northeastern Junior College at the Regional Science Fair for FFA students where he has helped with the soils judging contest for the last 33 years.
Dan says “I feel fortunate that I was able to come aboard with the ACES Program and to keep doing what I have always liked to do. I have mentioned this program to my friends who are getting closer to retirement and they feel that the ACES Program is one that would work for them. Thank you for the opportunity to work with your program.”
Prior to the joining the ACES Program, Dan was employed with the NRCS as an Civil Engineering Technician before retiring and worked on complex designs, had multi-county responsibilities and traveled to neighboring field offices providing on the job training to fellow employees. He is essentially doing similar work with the ACES Program now but it involves less travel, “I heard of the ACES program prior to retirement and thought that might work for me. When I was asked to come back on a part-time basis, it was hard for me to turn it down.” He appreciates that he is still heavily involved with conservation, working with the younger staff and enjoys the flexible hours during the week.
Dan graduated from Northeastern Junior College with an AA Degree and was working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Agronomy, when he was offered a full time position with the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) which is now the NRCS. He doesn’t regret not finishing the Bachelor’s Degree and says “being involved in the actual design and installment of a successful conservation practice is pretty much rewarding in itself.”
When not providing engineering expertise for the NRCS, Dan volunteers with the Sterling Lions Club International for a program that provides free vision tests and glasses for preschoolers, “we collect used eyeglasses and sort them by prescription; they are then shipped all around the world to individuals who can really use them.” He also enjoys playing golf (every Wednesday afternoon), doing yard work, catching up on projects, reading, and plans to attend a Colorado Rockies game this summer.