Soil Health in Tennessee

Soil Health in Tennessee

Soil is a living and life-giving substance, without which we would perish.

As world population and food production demands rise, keeping our soil healthy and productive is of paramount importance. So much so that we believe improving the health of our Nation’s soil is one of the most important conservation endeavors of our time.

The resources on this soil health section of our site are designed to help visitors understand the basics and benefits of soil health—and to learn about Soil Health Management Systems from farmers who are using those systems.

Tennessee Soil Health Success Stories

Russel McGlothlin Sumner County Producer Discusses Soil Health and Cover Crops 

Russel McGlothlin is an 8th generation farmer in Sumner County who is committed to the use of cover crops and soil health.

John Verell Discusses Soil Health

John Verell, Producer

Third generation Madison County, Tennessee farmer John Verell discusses the benefits of soil health on their family farm. 

Click on the image to see the video.

Marty Hinson - Gibson County, Tennessee

John Verell Discusses Soil Health

Marty Hinson and her husband farm 3000 acres in West Tennessee. In this video she discusses their experiences. Marty discusses how she selected her cover mixes beginning with what she wanted to accomplish with her cover crops. 

Click on the image to see the video.

Karl Forsbach - Hardin County, Tennessee

Karl Forsbach - Hardin County Producer

Karl Forsbach and his son, Alex, farm Tennessee bottom land in Hardin County. In this video he discusses how he uses cover crops. 

Click on the image to see the video.

Mark Klepper - Greene County, Tennessee

Mark Klepper - Greene County Producer

Mark Klepper discusses the economics of cover crops. 

Click on the image to see the video.

Nick Combs - Greene County, Tennessee

Nick Combs - Greene County Producer

Nick Combs and his father run a dairy and row crop operation in Greene County, Tennessee. Nick talks about his cover crops and the benefits of cover crops and residue.

Click on the image to see the video.

Ricky Essary - Hardin County, Tennessee

Ricky Essary, Hardin County Producer

Ricky Essary and his family operate Cherry Farm in Hardin County, Tennessee where he grows about 1500 acres of corn and 2100 acres of soybeans. They have been using cover crops for the past six years.

Click on the image to see the video.

Kenny Hamilton - Monroe County, Tennessee

Kenny Hamilton - Soil Health Story

Kenny Hamilton has been using no-till farming for 25 years in Monroe County, Tennessee. In this video he discusses the use of EQIP to increase soil health.

Click on the image to see the video.

Danny Powell - Cannon County, Tennessee

Danny Powell - Soil Health Story

Danny Powell is a third generation farmer in Cannon County, Tennessee. In this video he discusses the value of cover crops to improve soil health, infiltration and productivity.

Click on the image to see the video.

Ed Sumara - Lake County, Tennessee

Ed Sumara - Soil Health Stories

Ed Sumara, a third generation farmer, farms 2500 in Lake County, Tennessee. He started using cover crops to improve his soil health. He discusses his practices and the resulting productivity.

Click on the image to see the video.

Jason Crabtree - Obion County, Tennessee

Jason Crabtree - Soil Health Story

Jason Crabtree farms 1300 acres on a farm that was his grandfathers. Jason discusses cover crops, ariel seeding, and the practices he uses on his crops of corn and soybeans.

Click on the image to see the video.

Don Norwood - Henry County, Tennessee

Don Norwood - Soil Health Story

Don Norwood and his son farm 3000 acres in Henry County, Tennessee. Mr. Norwood is 100% no-till and here he discusses his cover crops.

Click on the image to see the video.

Link to More Tennessee Soil Health Information

Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts

Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts


Soil Health Across the Nation

NEW Soil Health map 2014

A growing number of America’s farmers are using soil health management systems to improve the health and function of their soil—and we’re working hand-in-hand with these producers through our technical and financial assistance programs and services to help ensure their success. Click here to use the interactive map and find out what’s happening in your state regarding soil health and learn more about some of the farmers who are unlocking the secrets in the soil.

Spanish Language Soil Health Information




New Spanish Language Soil Health Video

Descubre los Secretos del suelo: A new Spanish-language video, produced by NRCS’ public affairs team in Missouri, with the assistance of State Conservationist J.R. Flores, State Soil Scientist Jorge Lugo-Camacho, Soil Conservationist (and Hispanic SEPM) Brendaly Rodriguez Munos, and Management Assistant Angie Verrill.

The video describes the basics and benefits of soil health and outlines the four basic principles needed to improve soil health.

Click here to watch the 4-minute video. Need more soil health information in Spanish? Click here to view NRCS’ Spanish-language soil health publications.

Explore the Science of Soil Health

Purdue’s Dr. Eileen KladivkoWhen we use tillage the soil ecosystem is disturbed on a massive scale.  Purdue’s Dr. Eileen Kladivko contrasted natural ecosystems with tilled systems and what we stand to lose when soils are tilled. Watch the video:The Science of Soil Health: What Happens When You Till?



Newspaper/Magazine Info-Graphics

Infographic Web CopyThere are a lot of interesting facts about healthy soil. Check out these informative graphics to unlock some of the secrets in healthy soil. Newspaper, magazine and newsletter editors are encouraged to download and publish these graphics (royalty-free) to help their readers discover some of the interesting facts at our feet.