NRCS provides farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for boosting agricultural productivity and protecting our natural resources through conservation. Programs are available to provide financial assistance to implement these recommendations. Helping people help the land.
NRCS Lewiston Field Office Staff
Phone: (207) 241-5375
Jim Johnson is a District Conservationist at the Lewiston, Maine Service Center. He received an A.S. Water Quality Technology and B.S. Agronomy from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He also received a M.S. Hydrology from Idaho State University. He started with the Soil Conservation Service in 1988 in Montana and worked in Idaho and Washington before transferring to Maine in 2002. He has worked as a Soil Conservationist, Wetland Specialist, Resource Conservationist and District Conservationist. He was a Certified Crop Advisor in Washington State and a Seed Potato Inspector in Montana. Jim grew up on a cattle ranch that also raised alfalfa hay, barley, pigs and chickens. He has worked as a ranch hand on other neighboring ranches and as a farm hand on a rice/sheep farm in New South Wales, Australia. He served in the US ARMY in 1979-1982 and served in the National Guard until his retirement in 2004. He enjoys wood working, auto mechanics, and outdoor activities. He currently resides in Gray, ME with his wife, Cathy and his daughter and son.
Phone: (207) 241-5373
Luis Aponte went to college in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, where he received a B.S. in Agricultural Science, specializing in Horticulture. Luis grew up in Aibonito PR, a beautiful town in the center of the island. He started his career in 2014 working as an agronomist for a Banana farm and then moved to Maine to work with NRCS in Augusta in November of 2015 and has been in Maine ever since. After working with a great variety of farmers and woodlot owners in Kennebec and Lincoln county, he decided to branch out and join the Lewiston team to gain more experience and forge new alliances. When not working, Luis enjoys cinema, video games, a nice cold brew and the occasional day out snowshoeing.
Phone: (207) 241-5378
Candace (Benwitz) Gilpatric, PE – graduate of UMaine with a BS in Agricultural Engineering. Candi grew up on a livestock farm in Western New York along Lake Ontario. She came to Maine for college and has never left. Candi started with NRCS as a work study student. Upon graduation she became a full time employee assisting the engineer in the Bangor area. In 1992 the agency moved her to Lewiston where she assisted the Southern Maine area engineer until his retirement. She currently provides engineering to the Southern 8 counties of Maine with assistance from Jason Walker, PE and Brian Stuart, CADD technician. Candi always enjoys teaching and has instructed trainings for NRCS across the nation over her 27 years of service. She still instructs locally to new NRCS hires in Maine and at district workshops. When not working Candi enjoys time with her family upta camp.
Phone: (207) 241-5383
Carl was hired as a NRCS Program Assistant for the former Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Area Program in December of 2004. Carl now works as a Program Assistant for the Programs Services Staff division of NRCS. His duties include: Conducting second level reviews of financial documentation pertaining to Farm Bill contract payments and Contract Obligations and Modifications for the South Paris, Scarborough, Skowhegan, Farmington, Ft. Kent, Presque Isle and Houlton Field Offices / Provides miscellaneous administrative and records management support to the Farmington, Lewiston, South Paris, Scarborough and Skowhegan Field Offices / Coordinates office supply purchases for 8 Field Offices in the southern half of the State of Maine.