County NRCS office has new soil conservationist

Elisa Benitez Ayala is the new NCRS soil conservationist for Jones County. (Photo submitted)
Elisa Benitez Ayala
NRCS Soil Conservationist

     Hello, I am Elisa Benitez Ayala the new Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) soil conservationist for Jones County. I was raised in Puerto Rico and a few months ago I moved to the beautiful state of Iowa.

     I carried out my university studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. My major and bachelor’s degree was in agricultural science and my minors were in livestock science and pre-veterinary science. Afterward, I earned my master’s degree, which was in food science, with a focus in dairy science. After working with manufacturing, food processing and agricultural businesses, I realized the importance of our environment and conserving our natural resources.

     I started looking for a way that I could incorporate my love for agriculture and my concern and interest for protecting our natural resources. When I saw that NRCS had several vacancy openings, I realized it was my opportunity to get involved. During my interview, I indicated my first option for relocation was Iowa. Although I had never visited the state before, I had always admired the agriculture in this beautiful land.

     This winter was my first experience with snow. I was excited to make my first snowman. In my spare time, I enjoy music, reading, puzzles and visiting parks, beaches and the theater. I am so excited to have joined the Anamosa team and be able to help farmers in Jones County. My main focus will be federal programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and Conservation Security Program (CSP).

     For more information about conservation planning, you can contact the office at 319-462-3196, ext. 3.   




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