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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Docs » Meet the Staff » Lori Burma

Lori Burma
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I am the Secretary in the NLAE Director’s Office. I started my federal career in 2007 as a Program Support Assistant with the NLAE (known then as the National Soil Tilth Lab). I received my Associates degree from Des Moines Area Community College.


Was there an event or a person who inspired you to pursue your career path?
The early part of my career in the area of law was inspired by a family friend and neighbor who was a private practice attorney. I worked at his law firm for many years as a legal secretary. Changing course to the area of agriculture was due to my love of farm life and growing up surrounded by grain farmers.

What attracted you to ARS or the NLAE?
Being raised on a farm and having an interest in agriculture, when I saw a job posting for an administrative support person with the ARS, I felt that it would be a good fit for me. Not only because of my interest in the research being conducted, but knowing that I could make a difference with my administrative skills.

What is your favorite aspect of your work?
What I love about my job is the diversity of the work I do, along with the great people I work with.

If you could achieve any work-related accomplishment in the next 5-10 years what would it be and why would you choose it?
My goal for the next several years is to strive to be a reliable and valuable assistant to the new laboratory director for NLAE; a position that is currently vacant but will soon be filled. I want to be an asset to that individual and help that person acclimate and thrive in his/her leadership role.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people who know you?
I am the youngest of five children and the only girl.