To celebrate Wisconsin Women in Conservation Week we're starting a series of profiles on some of our rock star conservation professionals. Today we're delighted to interview Angela Biggs, State Conservationist, the head of the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service in Wisconsin. Biggs, only the second woman to hold this post in the state, oversees 55 service centers and more than 200 employees. Prior to being named to the post in 2017 she served as the assistant state conservationist for management and strategy in Illinois – the first person to hold that position. She was responsible for supervising conservationists in a 23-county area.
What has the contribution of women conservationists been in Wisconsin?
"I am honored to be the current State Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s, Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wisconsin and also one of a few females in this leadership role over the years. Women conservationists across the great state of Wisconsin have played a vital role in building conservation from the ground up. We’re happy to provide education, build relationships and partnerships with all farmers, whether they are historically underserved, new and beginning farmers, Veterans, and more. People with diverse backgrounds and experiences partnering together help bring different perspectives and innovative ideas—working together, women conservationists are proud to be a part of the conservation solution."
Why are women landowners and farmers important to the stewardship of land and water in Wisconsin?
"Women landowners and farmers are vital to the stewardship of land and water in Wisconsin. Many Wisconsin farms are owned by women looking for advice, education, and assistance to make a difference on their land. Some don’t know where to start. That’s why the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is partnering through the Women in Conservation Initiative to provide outreach to this important group. One of our goals is to foster connections and relationship building with women farmers and landowners so they will feel comfortable in partnering with NRCS to gain assistance in implementing conservation on their farm, and subsequently, across the landscape."
What is the role of women in the future of land and water conservation in Wisconsin?
"Women will continue to play an important role in the successful future of land and water conservation in Wisconsin. Women will strive to be farm owners, conservation leaders, and doers to take care of our lands. As a women conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, it is my goal to continue to partner with all farmers and landowners, especially women, to implement conservation that will keep our lands productive and profitable for generations to come."