Kevin Brown, USDA NRCS State Conservationist

Kevin Brown was Tennessee's USDA NRCS State Conservationist from 2007 to 2018. He has always been one of Clinch-Powell's biggest supporters, and helped nurture a meaningful and lasting relationship between Clinch-Powell and the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Clinch-Powell started as a Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D) in 1989. The purpose of the RC&D program was to accelerate the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources, improve the general level of economic activity, and enhance the environment and standard of living in the area. Through this designation, RC&D areas were eligible for technical and financial assistance provided by NRCS, overseen on the state level by the State Conservationist.

When asked about the history of his involvement with Clinch-Powell and what stood out to him, Brown said, "While I was in DC and working in other states, there was not another RC&D that was run the way Clinch-Powell was. The Board kept a finger on the pulse of what was going on in the geographic area and listened to the people." He specifically recalled our work with rural housing, our conservation land easements along the Clinch and Powell Rivers, and our endeavor to revitalize the small community of Kyles Ford, through our development of River Place on the Clinch.

Funding for the support of RC&D areas was unfortunately zeroed out on the federal level in 2011, but Clinch-Powell continues to uphold the mission of that program, offering housing options, sustainable development and conservation services in our communities. Our long standing relationship with USDA NRCS lives on, as well, through our placement of Appalachia CARES AmeriCorps members offering support and technical assistance to landowners.

We would not be where we are today without our partnership with NRCS, or without champions of our cause, like Kevin Brown. #30years #30faces