Matthew J. McClanahan Assumes Helm of the Voice of Tennessee Conservation Districts

Franklin, Tennessee: At the 76th Annual Convention of the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts ("TACD"), President Jim Bledsoe introduced Cumberland County, Tennessee native Matthew Janson McClanahan as the organization's newest Executive Director.

"I am very honored and humbled to be named as the Executive Director of this grassroots organization that is working for conservation today to ensure a better Tennessee tomorrow," McClanahan said after the announcement. "I look forward to working with our executive board, volunteers, soil conservation district employees, county boards, private land owners, and all of our partners in both the public and private sector to conserve and enhance the natural resources of Tennessee through education, advocacy, and the implementation of our programs and initiatives"

A lifelong resident of Crossville, McClanahan is the son of Janson and Nancy McClanahan and the brother of Colton McClanahan. He and his family own and operate a registered Polled Hereford beef cattle farm in Cumberland County. McClanahan graduated magna cum laude from Tennessee Tech University with a degree in Agriculture. McClanahan graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law and is a practicing attorney serving the legal needs of individuals and companies with interests in Tennessee throughout the state of Tennessee. McClanahan serves on the board of directors for the Tennessee Tech Ag Foundation and on the executive committee for the TennGreen Land Conservancy.

Soil Conservation Districts were formed across the country in the aftermath of the Dust Bowl to ensure continued protection of natural resources through local leadership. In 1939, the Tennessee General Assembly authorized the formation of Soil Conservation Districts. By 1945, Tennessee landowners had successfully petitioned the state to charter nearly thirty such districts. In August of 1945, the Tennessee Association of Soil Conservation Districts (the forerunner to the TACD) held its first official meeting. Today, there are ninety-five Soil Conservation Districts throughout the state of Tennessee encompassing every county in the state. Created by Soil Conservation Districts for Soil Conservation Districts, TACD is governed by the four hundred seventy-five men and women who serve on Soil Conservation District boards.

McClanahan summarized the importance of the TACD by saying, "The agricultural industry has the greatest economic impact in the state of Tennessee, followed next by the tourism industry. Both of these industries are inextricably tied to Tennessee's vibrant natural resources. The work that the TACD does is not only critical to sustaining our environment, but also Tennessee's economy."