McMinn County SCD

Welcome to the McMinn County Soil Conservation District (SCD) Website!

The purpose of this website is to inform the public of available programs and services, as well as to provide insight into the history, employees, and purpose.

The McMinn Soil Conservation District is a soil, water, and wildlife conservation district of the NRCS/USDA (Natural Resource Conservation Service/United States Department of Agriculture) that was adopted on December 28, 1954, after the passing of the 74th Congress' Public Law 46, "The Soil Conservation Act", and in accordance with the Tennessee Soil Conservation District Law No. 197 of the 1939 Tennessee General Assembly. Hugh Hammond Bennett, "The Father of Soil Conservation" was noted as being the leader in accelerating the passing of Public Law 46, which ultimately  established all districts, including McMinn County. The McMinn County Soil Conservation District's boundaries being the same as those of McMinn County, which comprises 432 square miles or 276,480 total acres of land and water.

The original Charter members of this SCD were Rex Moses, Clarence Miller, Carl D. Sliger, J.G. Wilson, and J.K. Pickens. The SCD is governed by a Board of Supervisors, two (2) of which are appointed by the Tennessee State Conservation Committee, each being for three (3) year terms and three (3) of whom are elected by local landowners, each being for three (3) year terms. Both administration work and field duties of a the district are performed by McMinn County SCD and NRCS/USDA employees. Additional Technical and Conservation assistance is provided by the Area 4 NRCS/USDA office in Knoxville, Tennessee, as requested or needed by the District.

Throughout its rich history, McMinn County's SCD has worked diligenty to inform farmers, landowners, and citizens alike of the programs available to allow them to help conserve, maintain, and protect our precious natural resources, as well as to institute primary emphasis on addressing solutions to resource concerns in our community. The "1985 Food Security Act Farm Bill" and all related Farm Bills since require land users to actively apply land conservation and preservation plans and systems in order to participate in farm related programs. It is our direct responsibility to give leadership and guidance to landowners about such bills and government assistance programs.

Since the foundation of its district, McMinn County's landowners and SCD/NRCS staff have undertaken and completed many conservation programs with farmers and related landowners utilizing programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), a cost-share landowner assistance program for those eligible for conservbation practices on cropland and grazing land. A related program is the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), also a cost-share program which is designed to establish/enhance habitats critical for wetland wildlife, streams, and fisheries ecosystems, and declining, rare, threatened, or endangered wildlife species, and to control invasive species which decrease the quality, quantity, and diversity of early sucession, upland, and wetland wildlife and fisheries habitats.

Another available program is the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which is designed to reward good land stewards who are continually striving to improve.

Futhermore, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) also offers special assistance through SCD in selected watersheds in McMinn County as well as offering additional funding for conservation practies, for those that qualify.

NRCS also offers easement programs that include but are not limited to, Grassland Reserve Program (GRP), Farm and Ranch Protection Programs (FRPP), and Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) which strive to conserve and protect grasslands, wetlands, forrest, meadows, swamps and eroded, and overgrazed lands.

McMinn County SCD also works with the Farm Service Agengy (FSA) and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA). The TWRA, like the NRCS and TDA, offers additional financial assistance in the state funded programs, such as the most recent Bobwhite Quail Restoration Program, where landowners can receive money from the TWRA for conservation practices in McMinn County, such as Edge Feathering and Hedgerow Renovation, which are done as part of NRCS's WHIP and EQIP programs, which in turn assist the reconstruction of Bobwhite Quail habitat and populaton for furture generations.

Our office is located  at the USDA Service Center, 320 Congress Parkway North, Suite C , Athens, Tennessee 37303. If you have any questions about assistance, eligiblity, and other conservation programs or have any other questions please feel free to contact any available personnel at (423)745-6300 Ext. 3 or vist us at our Athens Field Office anytime Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Our Board of Supervisor's meets monthly every 3rd Wednesday.

Thank you for visiting our website! We look forward to working for you and will continue to strive for excellence in Agriculture.

The SCD, NRCS/USDA, TDA, TWRA and their affiliates' conducted programs are administrated so that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, marital status, or handicap be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of or otherwise subjected to discrimination under Federal, State, or District programs of activity. The SCD, NRCS/USDA, TDA, TWRA and their affiliates' are equal opportunity employers and providers.

The McMinn County Soil Conservation District is a government subdivision of McMinn County and the State of Tennessee and is a public body, corporate and politic, organized according to the Soil Conservation District Law, and operates within the powers set forth in Tennessee Code Annoted 43-14-201 and with in the financial and legal powers set forth by NRCS/USDA and by the United States Federal Government.