Puerto Rico native Carlos Suarez this week began his tenure as state conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service in California.
From NRCS' Davis headquarters, Suarez will oversee the agency's 400 employees in 62 offices across California.
NRCS employees work with Resource Conservation Districts to provide conservation technical and planning assistance to thousands of farmers and ranchers on voluntarily projects designed to conserve and protect the natural resources on farms, ranches and private non-industrial forests.
Suarez served as deputy state conservationist for California from 2005-08. He comes back to California after a stint as NRCS state conservationist in Florida.