March 03, 2024

NRCS announces acting state conservationist

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Tammy Willis has been selected to serve as the acting state conservationist for Illinois until the position is filled permanently.

Willis began her 120-day detail on Feb. 27 after the retirement of Ivan Dozier.

She began her career in 1995 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and has worked in multiple states throughout her career, which has afforded her a diverse conservation experience and knowledge.

Willis started as a soil conservationist trainee in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and continued to Freeport and Sycamore in Illinois. She later moved to Wynne, Arkansas, in 2003 as a district conservationist to continue providing technical assistance and farm bill program delivery to farmers, livestock producers and other customers.

In 2007, Willis was selected as an area resource conservationist in Dayton, Ohio. In 2011, she became the assistant state conservationist for programs in Syracuse, New York.

For a decade, she provided leadership, guidance and direction for New York’s Financial Assistance and Easement Programs to internal and external customers.

In 2021, she was selected as the first assistant state conservationist for partnerships for New York. She successfully completed the Strategic Leadership Development Program through George Washington University in 2021.

During her career, she completed two acting state conservationist detail opportunities: New York, 2018, and South Carolina, 2017.

In 2022, Willis served on a detail to the new Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Office, helping to establish the office in her role as the UAIP Advisory Committee coordinator.