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News Release

Tennessee NRCS Welcomes New State Conservationist


For more information contact:
Katherine K. Burse, State Public Affairs Officer
PH: 615-277-2533


NASHVILLE, August 6, 2018 - The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is pleased to welcome Mr. Sheldon L. Hightower as the new State Conservationist in Tennessee.  Hightower will oversee 72 NRCS Field Service Centers across the state, more than 180 employees, and a total annual budget of approximately $75 million in federal conservation aid to Tennessee farmers and producers.  

“I am very grateful and excited to serve as the new State Conservationist in Tennessee,” said Hightower. “I look forward to getting out in the field with employees and seeing some of the great conservation work in the Volunteer State.”

Hightower will replace Kevin Brown, who retired in January 2018, as the eighth State Conservationist to serve in Tennessee.

Prior to his selection as the State Conservationist for Tennessee, Hightower was the NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in Hutchinson, Kansas for four years, where he served 28 South Central and Western counties.

Hightower, a native of Ada, Oklahoma, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business, with a minor in Crop and Soil Science in 1999 from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma. He began his career with NRCS in 1996 as a student trainee in Oklahoma and Minnesota, under the NRCS Student Career Employment Program.

In the years that followed, Hightower has held many progressive positions within NRCS.  Click here to read Hightower’s full biography.

Hightower currently serves on the NRCS National Civil Rights Advisory Committee to the Chief, the Tri-State Leadership Development Board (TLDP), and is a member of the Kansas Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

Sheldon and his family are looking forward to exploring the attractions, tours, fishing, hunting, and the beautiful landscape of Tennessee.

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