Juan Hernandez was born in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. He grew up on a small coffee plantation in the mountains of Puerto Rico. There he learned the “in’s and out’s” of working on a farm and the work ethic, only a farmer can teach. With his parents’ support, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico.
After graduation, he started his career with NRCS in Indiana, Pennsylvania as a student trainee. Later he transferred to the Gettysburg Field Office in Pennsylvania as a soil conservationist. After five years in Pennsylvania, he was selected for his first leadership position as a district conservationist in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. After Wisconsin, he transferred to Lonoke, Arkansas as a district conservationist.
While in Arkansas, Juan graduated from the prestigious NRCS Leadership Development Program. A year later, he accepted a position as an Assistant State Conservationist for Operations in Salt Lake City, Utah. During 2008, he relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska to become the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations. It is in April of 2009 he accepted the opportunity to become the State Conservationist for the State of Maine. After 11 years in Maine, in March 2020 he relocated to Gainesville, Florida to become the State Conservationist for the State of Florida.
Juan and his wife, Carmen, have three children, Alejandra, Miguel, and Diego.