Sheldon Hightower


Sheldon was raised on a farm in Ada, Oklahoma where he and his family grew vegetable crops and managed a cow/calf operation. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business, with a minor in Crop & Soil Science in 1999 from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma.

Sheldon began his career under the NRCS Student Career Employment Program in 1996, as a student trainee in Oklahoma and Minnesota. He worked as a Soil Conservationist in Minnesota for two years. In 2002, Sheldon was selected as the District Conservationist in Ulysses, Kansas. In 2003, he also served as Acting Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Coordinator and District Conservationist in Hugoton, Kansas. In 2005, Sheldon was transferred to Emporia, Kansas to serve as an Area Resource Conservationist while he also served a term of four years as the Black Special Emphasis Program Manager on the Kansas Civil Rights Advisory Committee. In 2008, he was transferred to Hutchinson, Kansas and continued to serve as an Area Resource Conservationist.

Sheldon served as Acting National Grassland Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve

Program Manager, Washington, D.C. in 2009; and as Acting Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in Pennsylvania in 2010. In 2010, Sheldon was selected as the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in New York, and was assigned a two-year appointment as Chair of the Civil Rights Advisory Committee, and the Lake Ontario Coordinator for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. In 2013, Sheldon was detailed as Acting State Conservationist for the State of Nevada. Sheldon served as the Acting Kansas State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) from October 15, 2017 through March 3, 2018.

Sheldon has been serving as the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in

Hutchinson, Kansas for the past four years. He is responsible for the 28 south central and

western counties in his administrative area. Sheldon serves on the board for the Tri-State

Leadership Development Program and is a member of the Kansas Soil and Water Conservation Society Chapter. Sheldon also serves on the National Civil Rights Advisory Committee to the Chief.


Sheldon has 21 years of experience within the NRCS agency, with seven years being in

leadership positions. In these various leadership positions, Sheldon actively promotes

mentorship and career development in the NRCS workforce.

Sheldon is a life member of the National Organization of Professional Black NRCS Employees. He has served on the Election and Budget committees; and was President of the Kansas Chapter.


Sheldon will replace Kevin Brown, who retired in January 2018, as the eighth State Conservationist to serve in Tennessee beginning August 2018.


Join Us on Facebook!    Follow Us on Twitter

Copyright ©2011 National Organization of Professional Black NRCS Employees. All Rights Reserved.


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software