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News Release

NRCS Selects New Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee

Leon Headshot

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


NASHVILLE, October 16, 2018 – Leon Tillman was recently selected as the new Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations—Area Conservationist—in Middle Tennessee.  Tillman will oversee 22 counties and lead a group of more than 70 direct and in-direct staff in providing the best conservation education, resources, and opportunities for farmers, producers, and land stewards.

“I am grateful to be selected as the Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations and look forward to continuing service to the farmers, operators, and landowners in my new position,” said Tillman.  “I look forward to working with the staff and partners to ensure that continued exemplary customer service, technical, and financial assistance is provided to our customers, colleagues, and communities on the plateau.” 


A native of Paola, Kansas, Tillman received his Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences from Tennessee State University in 2009 and a Master of Science in Agriculture and Natural Resources Systems Management at the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2013. He completed undergraduate research related to water pollution and graduate research related to NRCS program spending trends.

Tillman began his career with NRCS as an 1890 USDA Scholar and student intern in Franklin, TN in 2005. During his undergraduate tenure, he interned in several Middle Tennessee counties. After graduation, Tillman worked full-time as a Soil Conservationist in West Tennessee, eventually becoming a District Conservationist in East Tennessee, and Resource Conservationist on the state programs staff. He has served in acting roles and worked extensively with agriculture producers, partners, and employees providing technical assistance, financial assistance, planning, and policy guidance throughout the state.  

Tillman married his wife, Monique, in 2013 and they have a two-year-old son, Liam. He enjoys traveling, playing basketball, and spending quality time with family and friends. He believes that with God, and through diligent service, a person has unlimited potential. 

Click here to read Tillman’s full bio. For more information about NRCS in Tennessee, visit the website at

USDA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, Provider, and Lender.