The National Resources Conservation Service or NRCS was established by Congress in 1935 as the Soil Conservation Service (SCS). It has become much more broadly-based over time, focused on many aspects of conservation and particularly concerned about how private lands are or can be cared for, restored, and protected from environmental challenges. In the United States, more than seventy percent of land is owned by individuals, "making stewardship by private landowners absolutely critical to the health of our Nation’s environment."
NRCS helps with conservation planning and assistance to benefit and protect all the elements that create and maintain healthy ecosystems. (drawn largely from http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/about/, 2012).
This agency is one of several sections of the USDA born out of the Dust Bowl of the 1930's, an horrific and killing loss of soil to wind and water because of bad agricultural and environmental practices. Part of their intention is that such a disaster should never happen in the United States again.