BANGOR – The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has selected a University of Maine graduate and U.S. Marine Corps veteran to serve as the new District Conservationist for Hancock County.
Christopher Phinney – who most recently served as an NRCS soil conservationist in the same office – started in the position at the USDA Service Center on Broadway in Bangor on April 15. Working closely with the Hancock County Soil & Water Conservation District, Phinney will oversee NRCS partnerships with agricultural producers and private landowners to address natural resource concerns in Hancock County.
“This is an exciting time for agriculture in Hancock County and I look forward to assisting its producers, private landowners and partners in achieving their conservation goals,” Phinney said. “I believe resource conservation is a critical part of long-term sustainability and the prosperity of the people of Maine. A career helping people with this is a dream come true for me.”
Phinney, a native of Maine and resident of Bucksport, served in the United States Marine Corps from 2004-2009 on an M1A1 Abrams tank crew, and is a veteran of the Iraq war. He is currently a member of VFW Post 3381 in Old Town.
He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maine – Orono in 2015, with a double major in Sustainable Agriculture/Environmental Horticulture, and a minor in Sustainable Food Systems. Since 2015 Phinney has worked as a Soil Conservationist with NRCS in Hancock County, providing natural resource conservation project planning throughout the county.
“Chris and our partners with the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District are committed to carrying on the continuing mission of the USDA in central and coastal Maine,” Acting NRCS State Conservationist Dan Schmidt said. “New farmers or landowners are especially encouraged to contact us and learn about the technical and financial assistance programs we have available. Whether you want to implement better land management techniques, or are just exploring options to apply a sustainable agricultural system, NRCS is a good place to start.”
Phinney’s office is currently located in the USDA Service Center, 1432 Broadway, Suite 4, in Bangor, but is scheduled to move to Ellsworth by the end of the year. The NRCS office can be reached at (207) 947-6622 or at Christopher.Phinney@me.usda.gov.
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