Sheldon L. Hightower, a native of Ada, Oklahoma, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business, with a minor in Crop & Soil Science in 1999 from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma.
Sheldon began his career under the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Student Career Employment Program in 1996, as a student trainee in Oklahoma and Minnesota. He worked as a Soil Conservationist in Minnesota for two years. In 2002, Sheldon was selected as the District Conservationist in Ulysses, Kansas. In 2003, he also served as Acting Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Coordinator and District Conservationist in Hugoton, Kansas. In 2005, Sheldon was transferred to Emporia, Kansas to serve as an Area Resource Conservationist and also served four years as the Black Emphasis Program Manager. In 2008, he was transferred to Hutchinson, Kansas and continued to serve as an Area Resource Conservationist.
Sheldon served as Acting National Grassland Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Program Manager, Washington, D.C. in 2009; and as Acting Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in Pennsylvania in 2010. In 2010, Sheldon was selected for Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in New York and served as the Lake Ontario Coordinator for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. He was also assigned a two year appointment as Chair of the New York Civil Rights Advisory Committee. In 2013, Sheldon was detailed as Acting State Conservationist of Nevada.
Sheldon has been serving as the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in Hutchinson, Kansas for the past 4 years. He is responsible for the 28 south central and western counties in Kansas NRCS Administrative Area 2. Sheldon serves on the National Civil Rights Advisory Committee to the Chief, serves on the Tri-State Leadership Development Board (TLDP), and is also a member of the Kansas Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Sheldon is a life member of the National Organization of Professional Black NRCS Employees and serves on the Executive Board. He has served on the Election and Budget committees; and was President of the Kansas Chapter.