The private sector is a natural for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Because 70% of land in the US is privately owned, NRCS must emphasize relationships with individual owners to meet its mission of conserving soil, water, and other natural resources. Established in 1935 as the Soil Conservation Service, the NRCS provides financial and technical assistance for conservation activities, manages natural resource conservation programs, and offers expertise in a variety of agricultural arenas. The Department of Agriculture division additionally participates in international scientific and technical exchanges at a governmental level. The agency's budget is about $4.5 billion per year.