NOPHNRCSE - A Historical Perspective

by Humberto Hernandez, NOPHNRCSE Past President & Historian

After almost two years of dialogue between several Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Hispanic Employment Program Managers and other Agency employees, a group of Hispanic SCS leaders met on May 20, 1992 in Albuquerque, NM, and reached consensus to work together to begin the forming of an employee organization that would serve as an advocacy group for Hispanic employees of the SCS. With this, the group began an outreach effort to recruit potential members, to develop a Constitution and By-Laws and to seek the support and endorsement of SCS Leadership. On December 15, 1992, then Agency Chief Bill Richards signed and issued a memorandum to all SCS employees stating, "I fully support the goals of the National Organization of Professional Hispanic Soil Conservation Service Employees" (NOPHSCSE). Furthermore, he stated that "management had endorsed the efforts of the organization" and that several of his top staff had indicated a desire to become charter members.

The hard work finally paid off when on May 20-24, 1993 the interim Organization held its first official Annual Training Conference in San Antonio, TX, and formally became the National Organization of Professional SCS Employees with the naming of its first National Council and the ratification of its Constitution and By-Laws.

In the 17 years of NOPHSCSE/NOPHNRCSE’s existence, it has evolved into an employee organization dedicated to the recruitment retention, development and advancement of its members. NOPHNRCSE has awarded numerous scholarships to students that later, through assistance of members of the organization, were recruited to become employees of NRCS. All of the current Hispanic State Conservationist can trace their beginnings as GS-5/7’s Conservationist and members of NOPHNRCSE.

NOPHNRCSE has and will continue to remain committed to assisting NRCS in “helping people help the land” by strengthening the Agency’s efforts in the recruitment, retention, development, and advancement of its Hispanic employees.

NOPHNRCSE Past Presidents

NameTerm in Office
Astrid Martinez Current President
Angel Figueroa 2010 - 2012
Luis Hernández 2008 - 2010
Carlos Suárez  2006 – 2008
Bertha Venegas 2004 – 2006
Pedro Ramos 2002 – 2004
Rafael Guerrero 2000 – 2002
Rebecca De La Torre 1998 – 2000
Adolfo Pérez 1997 – 1998
Juan Martínez 1996 – 1997
Rosendo Treviño 1994 – 1996
Humberto Hernández 1993 – 1994
Ray Margo- Interim    1992 – 1993