Senior James Herrington Jr., laying the groundwork for career in soil conservation

James Herrington Jr. is laying the groundwork to secure his education and future as a Soil Conservationist. A rising senior, Herrington recently attained an internship with the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS).


Herrington is eager about the opportunity to explore a different environment and setting. “Getting a chance to step outside of Mississippi and experience other types of agriculture lands and techniques is just a blessing,” he stated.

Since childhood, Herrington has thoroughly enjoyed working in his family’s garden, so much that he decided to make a career out of it. “I’ve always had a passion for the growth and cultivation of plant life,” said Herrington, who is an Agriculture Plant and Soil Science major. Before coming to Alcorn, he attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College where he excelled in both the classroom and on the playing field as a student athlete, earning himself an associate’s degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

“I feel extremely blessed to receive this opportunity to work with the NRCS. Knowing that my hard work is slowly paying off is fantastic,” he said.

As an intern, Herrington’s duties will include working on the cultivation of rangelands in the cities of Brackettville, Uvalde, Hondo, and Eagle Pass, Texas. Some of the processes and practices he will learn about will be government contracts to assist farmers and their farms, the National Resources Innovatory (NRI) survey program, the Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). He will also get the opportunity to sit in on several district water and soil conservation meetings during his stay.

“I’m excited to get to learn about plants that are common in rangelands that I am not accustomed to seeing in the croplands of Mississippi,” said the Fayette, Mississippi native.

Herrington currently serves as the 1st Vice President of the Alcorn State University Student Government Association, president of the ETA Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., founder and vice president of Impact Community Service Organization, and 2nd Vice State Representative of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. After graduation, he plans to obtain his master’s degree in Forestry and work full-time as a conservationist with the USDA-NRCS.

Herrington learned about this opportunity through the USDA pathways program. He also had assistance from USDA 1890 Program Liaison Michael Trusclair. For more information, please visit or contact Trusclair at [email protected].