Our 23rd Profiles of Soil Health Heroes is from Claiborne County, Tennessee. He is James England. James farms approximately 1,000 acres, and raises beef cattle. His soils are from dolomitic cherty limestone with slopes from 3-5% on cropland and 8 - 25% plus on pastureland. He grazes 280 total head including 160 cows with calves and replacement heifers. He has 40 fields that are generally 15 - 40 acres each. He has installed 30 water tanks, so he can easily subdivide into smaller paddocks. He also feeds corn and hay to 30 total steers and heifers, and feeds them out to 500 - 900 pounds depending on market prices. He grows 30 acres of corn. He no-tills and uses a multi species cover crop on his corn land. He also plants sorghum-sudan grass for hay. James broadcasts his sorghum-sudan grass seed and breaks the ground with a harrow for planting. He plants sorghum-sudan grass approximately June 1. James cuts one cutting off of sorghum-sudan grass and grazes the rest of the season. He plants winter covers in the fall. I asked James what fields are grazed, and he said all of them. The corn field is grazed in fall and spring when in winter cover crops.
He also has a green house where he produces organic tomatoes. He uses compost for soil fertility. I visited the farm on July 18, 2016 with NRCS District Conservationist, Mike Shoffner and Soil Conservationist, Justin Howard both out of Tazewell Field Office. We talked to James and toured the farm with James' farm manager.