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TNSTC1

Tennessee State Technical Committee

The Tennessee State Technical Committee serve in an advisory capacity to the Natural Resources Conservation Service and other agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the implementation of the natural resource conservation provisions of Farm Bill legislation.

Overview of State Technical Committee

State Technical Committees have been and continue to be a vital part of farm bill implementation. The NRCS depends on their knowledge and expertise to implement farm bill programs that are locally led.

The 1985 Farm Bill required the formation of the committee to advise NRCS on a variety of issues and to provide information, analysis and recommendations to the NRCS state conservationist. The 2018 Farm Bill amends the 1985 Farm Bill to include identifying additional mandatory members and areas where the committee must participate and/or provide input during 2018 Farm Bill implementation.

The committee is intended to include members from a wide variety of natural resource and agricultural interests. Chaired by the NRCS state conservationist, this committee is composed of representatives from federal and state natural resource agencies, agricultural and environmental organizations, and agricultural producers.

Committee Members

While committee meetings are open to anyone, membership on the committee is at the invitation of or request to the state conservationist.

The committee members shall be composed of agricultural producers and other professionals that represent a variety of disciplines in the soil, water, wetland and wildlife sciences and include representatives from the following:

  • The NRCS
  • The Farm Services Agency
  • Farm Service Agency state committee
  • The USDA Forest Service
  • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • State departments and agencies within the state
    • Fish and wildlife agency
    • Forestry agency
    • Soil conservation agency
  • Water resources agency
  • The State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
  • Agricultural producers representing the variety of crops and livestock or poultry raised within the state
  • Owners of nonindustrial private forest land
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • The state cooperative extension service and land grant university in the state
  • Other federal agencies and persons knowledgeable about economic and environmental impacts of conservation

Subcommittees

In some situations, specialized subcommittees composed of State Technical Committee members may be needed to analyze and refine specific issues. The state conservationist may assemble certain committee members, including members of local working groups and other experts to discuss, examine, and focus on a particular technical or programmatic topic, or combination of such. Specialized subcommittees are open to the public and may seek public participation, but they are not required to do so. Recommendations of specialized subcommittees will be presented in general sessions of State Technical Committee, where the public is notified and invited to attend.

Examples of specialized subcommittees include:

  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program Ranking Criteria Subcommittee
  • State Forestry Subcommittee
  • National Water Quality Initiative Subcommittee
  • State Wildlife Subcommittee
  • Urban Agriculture Subcommittee

Subcommittees typically meets quarterly, in between committee meetings, and will be facilitated by a subcommittee chairperson. When the need arises for a subcommittee action, committee members are contacted for assistance.

Committee Meetings

The State Technical Committee should meet at least twice a year at a time and place designated by the state conservationist. Other meetings may be held at the discretion of the state conservationist. The state conservationist will call a meeting whenever he or she believes that there is business that should be brought before the committee for action. However, any USDA agency may make a request of the state conservationist for a meeting. The state conservationist chairs the State Technical Committee. The committees are used to provide information, analysis, and recommendations to NRCS and other USDA agencies responsible for natural resource conservation activities and programs under Title XII of the 1985 Farm Bill, as amended. 

Currently, State Technical Committee meetings are held quarterly on the second Tuesday in the months of November, February, May, and August. The meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will end at noon. Information will be sent to committee members for review and comment prior to the meeting.

State Technical Committee and subcommittee meetings are open to the public.

Sheldon Hightower

Tennessee State Conservationist

Resources

Meeting Presentations