Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

People of different ethnicities holding hands.

Tennessee Civil Rights Advisory Committee

To facilitate fair and equitable treatment of all USDA customers and employees while improving and implementing civil rights and equal employment opportunity programs and activities in Tennessee.

The 2018 Farm Bill includes provisions that address the unique circumstances and concerns of socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, and veteran farmers and ranchers. The 2018 Farm Bill provides for voluntary participation, offers incentives, and focuses on equity in accessing USDA programs and services.

civil rights committee
brochure picture2

What is the Civil Rights Advisory Committee?

The committee serves in an advisory capacity providing management and employees with a vehicle that enhances and fulfills their equal employment opportunity and program delivery responsibilities.

June 2023

Tennessee Civil Rights Newsletter

There are many things to look forward to as fall approaches, but it also marks the close of another fiscal year which inevitably means we will be saying good-bye to a few of our members. I would like

Urban Agriculture Producer

Historically Underserved Communities

Some groups of people are identified in Farm Bill legislation and in USDA policy as being historically underserved, including farmers or ranchers who are: beginning, socially disadvantaged, military veterans and limited resource

Special Emphasis Program Managers are responsible for planning and implementing programs and providing awareness to improve employment and advancement opportunities for minority groups. Special Emphasis Program Manager positions are collateral duty positions and are under the direct supervision of the NRCS state conservationist.

Special Emphasis Program Manager are also responsible for: Analyzing challenges facing underrepresented groups within the agency and try to help find possible solutions; Maintaining educational and training information; Sponsoring programs to increase awareness; and Assisting in a diversified recruitment effort in Tennessee.

Click on the link below to download and print the CRAC poster: 


CRAC Advisors and Officers

Deputy Civil Rights Officer
Civil Rights Liaison Officer

CRAC Special Emphasis Program Managers

Secretary/Disability SEPM
American Indian/Alaskan Native SEPM
Asian American/Pacific Islander SEPM
Black SEPM
Federal Women’s SEPM
Hispanic SEPM
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender SEPM
Veterans SEPM

CRAC Members

Voting Members
Name Position Phone Number Email
Tanner Barksdale
Soil Conservationist/Term: FY2020-2023
Amber Johnson
Area Resource Conservationist/Term: FY 2020-2023
Megan Garren
Program Support Specialist/Term: FY 2021-2024
Steven Morris
District Conservationist/Term: FY 2022-2025
Kristen Stigger
Soil Conservationist/Term: FY 2022-2025
Associate Non-Voting Members
Name Position Phone Number Email
Devin Ross
Soil Conservationist, Term: FY 2023-2026
Frank Barbour
Civil Engineering Technician/Term: FY 2023-2026
Standing Non-Voting Members
Name Position Phone Number Email
Martha Griffin
State Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator
Harold Pettigrew III
State Outreach Coordinator

Special Emphasis Months 

Tennessee Resources

Related Links and Resources 

USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights (OASCR)

OASCR Special Emphasis Programs: employment related programs which focus special attention on certain groups that are not represented or have less than expected participation rates in specific occupational categories or grade levels within the agency's workforce.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: About the EEOC, Facts about Employment Discrimination, Filing a Charge, Enforcement and Litigation, Technical Assistance Program, Related sites.

Office of the U.S. Attorney General, Civil Rights DivisionMission, Special Issues, Speeches, Selected Cases and Briefs, Newsletter, Directory.

Translations for Non-English Speaking Producers: In addition to the translated items available on, free interpretation services for Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service assistance is available at your local USDA Service Center. Tell us your preferred language, and the USDA team member will call an interpreter to get the discussion started.

NRCS employees and applicants for employment who feel they have been discriminated against should contact:

USDA-FPAC Business Center
Civil Rights and EEO Division
Main Line: 202-572-5826
Second Line: 816-926-2608


An EEO Counselor/Mediator will be assigned by the Director of the Office of CR.


Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: