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The Norm Berg Collection

Norm Berg’s career not only tracked the agricultural conservation movement, his contributions and leadership charted the movement’s course. The Norm Berg collection—an online archive of documents by and about Berg—makes his wisdom available to farmland protection advocates of today and tomorrow.

Norm Berg was American Farmland Trust’s connection to the beginnings of agricultural conservation in the United States. His far-reaching career began in 1943 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service (SCS)—a relatively new agency formed in response to the Dust Bowl. Until his death on March 18, 2008, Berg remained a committed conservationist, serving as senior advisor for American Farmland Trust (AFT) and as the Washington, D.C., representative for the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). 

“Maintaining the quantity and quality of our soil for the continuing production of food and fiber, I feel, is the single most important issue.” – Norm Berg

Norm Berg was American Farmland Trust’s connection to the beginnings of agricultural conservation in the United States. His far-reaching career began in 1943 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service (SCS)—a relatively new agency formed in response to the Dust Bowl. Until his death on March 18, 2008, Berg remained a committed conservationist, serving as senior advisor for American Farmland Trust (AFT) and as the Washington, D.C., representative for the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS).

 

Berg worked for the first chief of SCS, Hugh Hammond Bennett, and then steadily rose through the ranks. He became associate administrator in 1969 and served as Chief from 1979 until 1982. Upon retirement from public service, Berg became active with AFT and SWCS, both national, nonprofit conservation organizations. But Norm Berg’s professional achievements did more than track an emerging movement—his contributions and leadership charted the movement’s course.

 

“Our total land resources–including our prime agricultural land–are simply too precious to be managed with only urban growth planning in mind.” – Norm Berg

Norm Berg dedicated this collection to his family. Our hope is for the collection to make Norm Berg’s wisdom available to future farmland protection advocates and that it will be a fitting tribute to his invaluable and greatly respected leadership.

Norm Berg Collection

The Norm Berg Collection assembles documents written by or about Berg and key laws and reports that represent milestones in agricultural conservation. At its core are nearly 200 speeches and articles written by Berg from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, when he was in leadership positions at the SCS. The collection demonstrates Berg’s tireless commitment to farm and ranch land protection and his role in steering the agency and its partners toward a broader understanding of ag conservation.

Norm Berg Collection

This project was made possible with support from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation Society, Anne Arundel Soil Conservation District, and Norm Berg's friends and colleagues.

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