Bennie F. Leflore
A native of Carthage, Mississippi in Leake County, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from Alcorn State University in 1968.
His professional career expands 36 years with the United States Department of Agriculture Soil and Conservation Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He was the second African American professional hired as a full-time NRCS employee hired in West Virginia working through the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in West Virginia, Colorado and Missouri. He crafted his skills and provided outstanding technical service to farmers, ranchers, and units of government before moving into management.
Under his leadership local SWCD became heavily involved in outreach programs and customer service in both farming community and urban population. He partnered with eight-eighty (88) municipalities in St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis. He conducted conservation education classes and workshops to 26 public schools, plus 10 private schools and homeowners in the St. Louis area. He was actively involved in providing leadership to farmers, ranchers and unit of governments through local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in West Virginia, Colorado and Missouri before moving on to regional and national levels. He later became one of twenty-three USDA-NRCS employees selected as Equal Employment Opportunity Counselors to address agency wide complaints. He developed and conducted EEO/Civil Rights Training that resulted in a fifty percent reduction in employee complaints.
Bennie made a big impact as a USDA-NRCS Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Counselor where he addressed complaints, settling over 95 percent of the complaints in the informal stage at the local level before becoming a full-time USDA-NRCS Regional Civil Rights Manager in 1995. Mr. Leflore was responsible for overseeing Title VI and Title VII programs compliance and complaints as well as EEO complaints in the Northern Plains Region including Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota. He was also responsible for ensuring and achieving equity in services to Women and minority farmers and ranchers.
In conjunction with his USDA-NRCS career, Bennie served 24 years in the US Army Reserves, retiring as a Master Sergeant (E-8). Since retiring from his Military and USDA duties, Bennie has been very active in the Memphis Alcorn Alumni Chapter, where he currently serves as Chaplain and Alcorn State University National Alumni Foundation. He supports the chapter and annual contributor to the Alcorn State University Foundation. Additionally, he is an Affiliate Broker Licensed in Tennessee and Mississippi with Crye-Leike Realtors.
He has received numerous awards for his dedication and support in his professional and community life: charter and lifetime member of the National Organization of Professional Black Natural Resources Conservation Service employees (NOPBNRCSE), Alcorn State University Alumni Foundation Captain Award, USDA-NRCS Civil Rights Division Award, USDA-Soil Conservation Service Award, Buchanan County SWCD Award, St. Louis SWCD Award, USDA-NRCS Project Leadership Award, USDA-NRCS Instruction Award, NRCS Certification of Appreciation, The National Organization of Professional Black Natural Resources Conservation Service Employees (NOPBNRCSE) Certification of Life Membership, Twenty-Five Years and Thirty-Five Years of Government Service Award, Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding dedication, support and leadership in the USDA NRCS US Army Reserves and Real Estate, USDA-NRCS Appreciation Award, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Lifetime Membership Award, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Fifty Years of Service, USDA Certification Award, Applied Technology Services Award, and Outstanding Young Men of America.
He is married to Estella McMillian Leflore ‘70 and they have two children: Benjamin and Byron. They reside in Bartlett, Tennessee.