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NRCS Fundamentals of Conservation & Sustainability in Agriculture Certification

Created in collaboration with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Texas Corn Producers

The NRCS Fundamentals of Conservation & Sustainability in Agriculture Certification verifies individuals have obtained exceptional knowledge and skills in the areas of conservation and sustainability of various natural resources including soil, water, plants, animals and air.


Meeting the Industry Need

The certification assesses industry-valued and industry-recognized standards produced by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Texas Corn Producers. These two groups have a vision to create a world with clean and abundant water, healthy soils and resilient landscapes, all while feeding a growing population with healthy, nutritious food. Their goals are to build a strong organizational support system, work with advocates to further the interest of the industry and promote thriving agricultural communities through voluntary conservation.

The certification validates individuals have acquired knowledge and skills necessary to obtain careers in agricultural and natural resources. Those who earn the certification are more qualified and prepared to enter various roles within the conservation and sustainability job sectors. Additionally, the certification allows employers to identify and connect with more skilled candidates, filling gaps in the labor market and jump-starting individuals’ careers.


Discover job opportunities aligned with the skills acquired through this certification.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next decade, there will be a projected 7,800 job openings each year for environmental scientists and specialists. Their median annual wage was $76,530 in 2021, with $129,070 being paid to the highest 10 percent.

Related Occupations

  • Forest and Conservation Technicians
  • Conservation Scientists
  • Environmental Restoration Planners
  • Agriculture Engineers
  • Sustainability Analyst
  • Environmental Engineers
  • Landscape Architects

Industry Standards

The certification exam consists of 100 questions and assesses knowledge and concepts from the following weighted industry standards:


  • Formation & Processes
  • Properties
  • Functions & Values
  • Health & Quality
  • Conservation & Management



  • Physical & Chemical Properties
  • Sources
  • Hydrologic Cycle
  • Quality & Pollution
  • Regulations & Standards
  • Treatment & Conservation



  • Morphology & Physiology
  • Food Web & Trophic Levels
  • Habitats
  • Terrestrial & Marine
  • Reproduction
  • Conservation & Management



  • Physical Structures & Functions
  • Growth & Reproduction
  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Annuals & Perennials
  • Natives & Invasives
  • Crop Production
  • Conservation & Management



  • Quality & Components
  • Contaminants
  • Sources



Optional Cert Prep


Optional Certification Preparation Materials

The iCEV online curriculum platform offers a variety of preparatory content and resources designed to prepare individuals to earn industry certifications.

Featured Support Letters

View letters from businesses and organizations expressing their support of the certification.

About USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service & Texas Corn Producers

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has been partnering with industry professionals for over 80 years to help protect the natural resources of the world. The NRCS emphasizes cultivating a diverse, well-trained workforce, supporting urban agriculture and innovative production, addressing climate change and advancing equal opportunities. The NRCS mission is to deliver conservation solutions so agriculture producers can protect natural resources and feed a growing world.

The Texas Corn Producers promotes and protects the interest of Texas corn farmers through two organizations: the Texas Corn Producers Board and the Texas Corn Producers Association. TCPB is funded by a voluntary checkoff program. Checkoff funds are used for research, education and promotion to create better opportunities for farmers. TCPA advocates for farmers as it aims is to build a strong organizational support system for the corn industry across the state.

Interested in Verifying a Candidate’s Certification?

 If you’re an employer looking to verify a job applicant’s credentials, click the button below to be taken to a verification form. 

If you do not have a certification number, please contact our customer support team to verify your candidate at: or 1-800-922-9965.

Verify My Candidate

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