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DeKalb Art Show Winners Awarded

May 26, 2014
Susan Hinton
Winning Art Show Entries
DeKalb Middle School Winner Brulee Neal
4th-5th Grade Division Winner-Avery South
Overall Winner Leah Payton Clark (left) with Carol Tripp

Over three-hundred parents and students came out Saturday, May 24, 2014 to view the art of the DeKalb County School System students from grades Pre-K-high school and also included the day care Pre-K students along with home-schooled students as well. Three of the first guests were Terri Lynn Weaver, TN Representative, DeKalb County Mayor, Mike Foster, and City Mayor, Jimmy Poss. The event hosted two local artists, Claudia Lee and Helen Sefsek, who not only displayed their beautiful art, but interacted with the students as they came through the exhibit. This event is sponsored each spring by the Smithville Study Club who are strong supporters of the arts. The President of the Club is Polly Payne. All the ladies of the club were on board to help make this year's art show the best yet. The winners of this year's art exhibit are:

Division 1- (Pre-K-first grade)
lst Place- Jaden Barber
2nd Place- Ben Barton
3rd Place- Aidan Turner
Honorable Mention- Maggie Johnson and Hailee Merriman

Division 2: Grades 2-3rd

lst Place- Aviannca Chalfaut
2nd Place-Elaina Bryce Turner
3rd Place- Fernando Clavel
Honorable Mention: Liam Wallace and Katherine Gassaway

Division 3: Grades 4-5th

1st Place- Avery South
2nd Place - Kennedy Polk
3rd Place- Ashley Portillo
Honorable Mention- Gracie Griffin and Kasen Johnson

Division 4: Middle School Grades 6-8

1st Place- Brulee Neal
2nd Place- Breanna Gibson
3rd Place- Allison Maynard
Honorable Mention- Marshal Evins and Erica Coleman

Division: High School Grades 9-12

lst Place- Leah Payton Clark
2nd Place- Kelly Armour
3rd Place- Thomas Graham
Honorable Mention- Taylor Marshall and Yosadara Vincente

The Overall Winner of the Show: Leah Payton Clark, High School Division with her portrait of Tonto, the famous Indian.

The People's Choice Award: Two students received equal number of votes for favorite art selection in the show. These winners were Leah Cantrell of the high school division along with Katherine Knowles of the Pre-K-1st grade division.

There were 185 pieces of art displayed this year by the students of DeKalb County.

Eighth Graders Graduate from DeKalb Middle School

May 25, 2014
Dwayne Page
Hayley Martin among eighth graders graduating at DeKalb Middle School
Marshal Evins (Highest GPA) with his sister Kelsey Evins (DCHS Valedictorian)
DMS Principal Randy Jennings Addresses Eighth Grade Class

Eighth graders at DeKalb Middle School graduated Thursday.

The event began with an invocation by Trey Jones. Principal Randy Jennings welcomed everyone and introduced Director of Schools Mark Willoughby.

Student Council and Jr. Beta members and officers were recognized. The Jr. Beta officers are President Marshal Evins, Vice President Thomas Webb, Secretary Hayley Martin, Treasurer Ethan Cantrell, Chaplain Allison Maynard, and Reporter Eleonore Atnip.

Mr. Bryan Jones awarded FCA students Claire Waggoner and Trey Jones with Bibles.

The yearbook staff were recognized by Mrs. Lisa Craig including Hannah Brown, Allison Maynard, Tyree Cripps, Bradley Miller, and Thomas Webb.

Awards were presented to the following students:

Music: Eric Gaw and Summer Spivey
Computer (words typed per minute): Hannah Brown
Math Tennessee Tech University Award: Thomas Webb who placed 5th out of 101
Woodmen of the World: Kyle Justice
Citizenship Awards: Trey Jones, Claire Waggoner, James Stephens, and Eleonore Atnip

Those students who received the Perfect Attendance awards for their eighth grade year were Tyler Cantrell, Zachary Gunter, Thomas Moore, Alex Pollard, and Taylor Reeder. A two year Perfect Attendance Award was presented to Taylor Reeder. Three Year Perfect Attendance Awards went to Ana Amaya, Courtney Ambrose, and Faedra Burns

Subject area (Highest Average) awards were given to the following students: English/Language- Kelsie Merriman and Jarad Henry, Math- Hannah Brown and Santanna Ferrell, Science- Taylor Reeder and Shauna Pedroza, and Social Studies- Kaitlyn Cantrell and Seth Whaley.

Top 10 GPA awards were then given by Mr. Jennings. The following students had the highest GPA (in order): 1. Marshal Evins, 2. Thomas Webb, 3. Allison Maynard, 4. Austin Johnson, 5. Olivia Fuson, 6. Kyle Justice, 7. Abby Evans, 8. Maggie Robinson, 9. Hayley Martin, 10. Bradley Miller

DCHS Valedictorian Kelsey Evins gave an encouraging speech. Diplomas were then presented to all 8th graders, and Mr. Jennings gave the closing remarks.

DCHS Bids Farewell to Class of 2014

May 23, 2014
Dwayne Page
Kalab Ferrell Receives White Rose Award from Principal Patrick Cripps
Kelsey Evins Receives White Rose Award from Principal Patrick Cripps
Crystal Vickers Receives Citizenship Award from Principal Patrick Cripps
Dr. Hugh Don Cripps was Commencement Speaker at DCHS Graduation

Graduating seniors said their farewells to DCHS as students during Friday night's commencement.

Three of the most outstanding members of the class were singled out for special recognition. This year's White Rose Awards went to Kalab Ferrell and Kelsey Evins while the Citizenship Award was presented to Crystal Vickers

The White Rose is presented to a boy and girl from the class for outstanding achievement and leadership, academics, and other activities. The Citizenship Award is given to the senior who has demonstrated outstanding service, devotion and loyalty to DeKalb County High School. The honors, distinction, and top rank students were also recognized during the program.

The 158 graduates received their diplomas during the commencement, each one shaking hands with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby as their names were called by Principal Patrick Cripps and Assistant Principal Kathy Bryant.

In her remarks, Valedictorian Kelsey Evins urged her classmates to pursue their passions and propel their dreams. " Pursuing your passion, whatever that is, is the one thing that makes you forget the world. That's what will propel your dreams into the sky. I like to think of these high-altitude efforts, this work, pursuing your passion, putting dreams in the sky, as being like hot air balloons. preparing for that flight....I feel like that's what we've been doing for the past twelve years. We've been trained by some of the most loving and passionate teacher's you'll meet. Our families and friends have supported us, and we've been gathering all the tools, preparing ourselves mentally for this moment. And pretty soon, we'll take off. As we leave tonight, I hope you'll remember where it is you put your passion and don't forget your source of hope and encouragement. And don't let your dreams float away without you. Hop in the basket. Life's pretty good when you let it happen," said Evins.

Jordan Wilkins, Class President, reflected on the dedication of this class to succeeding as a team. "With anything a person does in life, it takes dedication to complete. Obviously, graduating is a goal we set. Tonight, we are achieving this goal. There is only one word to describe this process. It is teamwork. With teamwork and good friendships, we bonded together, encouraged each other, and sometimes scolded one another to make this night possible. I am filled with a great sense of happiness for all of the things we have accomplished while in high school. Sometimes the challenges along the way were difficult. They are, however, what make this night even more precious. Even though we are prepared and excited to be on a new journey whether it be to college, work, or to the military, we hope that we have left the school a better place with higher standards and achievement for people who are coming after us. Together we have achieved a legacy of excellence and dedication. Remember our past, enjoy the present, and work to make your dreams come true in the future," said Wilkins.

Dr Hugh Don Cripps, a 1964 DCHS graduate and President of his Senior Class fifty years ago, was the commencement speaker for Friday's night's program. He challenged the 2014 graduates to "Dare to pursue the career about which you are passionate. Survey all the possibilities open to you but invest your time and energy in the most likely probabilities. Dare to go the extra mile. Dare to show compassion, love, and selflessness for others because as Eleanor Roosevelt said aloofness is not a solution. It's just a cowardly evasion. Dare to make your mark in the world. Dare to have empathy. Dare to be the best you can be. Finally, always be kind in life. On the importance of kindness Mark Twain stated kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Is this an oversimplified view of life? Probably. Is it within your reach? Most definitely. My fondest best wishes go with you one and all," he said.

The program featured an Invocation by Josh Davidson of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Music by the DCHS Band and Chorus. DCHS Guidance Counselor Lori Myrick introduced the honors and distinction students. Guidance Counselor Shelly Painter recognized the Top Rank students in the class. The Benediction was delivered by Ashley Barnes, member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Eighth Graders Graduate at DeKalb West School

May 23, 2014
Bill Conger
Hannah Evans, Brady Driver, Breanna Gibson, and Ethan Martin. Classmates chose the students for this year's Citizenship awards
Jacob Frazier, Breanna Gibson, and A.J. Mofield were recognized for scoring over 1,000 Accelerated Reader points in their career at DWS.
Noelle Driver and Jacob Frazier won the Perfect Attendance awards for not missing a day of school their 8th grade year.
Top Academic Award winners in the 8th grade graduating class: Jacob Frazier, Ethan Martin, Hannah Evans, Jaimie Alexander, and Breanna Gibson.
Cody Hale won the Mrs. Georgia Young award in honor of the late cafeteria manager

Forty-seven more 8th grade students are headed to DeKalb County High School after today’s (May 23) graduation from DeKalb West School.

Top academic awards were handed out to the following students: Ethan Martin and Hannah Evans for Literature; Breanna Gibson and Jaimie Alexander, English; Jacob Frazier and Jaimie Alexander, Math; Gibson and Alexander, Science and Social Studies.

Classmates named Breanna Gibson and Ethan Martin for Citizenship awards in Linda Knight-Gatlin’s room and in Cynthia Preston’s room, students chose Hannah Evans and Brady Driver. Noelle Driver and Jacob Frazier received the Perfect Attendance honors for not missing a single day of school. Cody Hale was presented with the Mrs. Georgia Young Award in honor of the late cafeteria manager.

Librarian Amanda Mullinax recognized Jacob Frazier, Breanna Gibson, and A.J. Mofield for scoring over 1,000 Accelerated Reader points in their career at DWS.

School Counselor Bill Conger gave certificates to Junior Beta students who had served the community, church, and school over the last year. Jaimie Alexander totaled 37.5 hours, Paxton Butler, 9 hours; Noelle Driver, 40.5 hours; Hannah Evans, 32 hours; Jacob Frazier, 7 hours; Breanna Gibson 21 hours; new inductee Candice Lyle with 3.5; Ethan Martin, 51 hours; A.J. Mofield, 4.5 hours and Samantha Street, 25 hours.

The following 8th graders graduated: Jaimie Alexander, Dylan Atkinson, Mark Baugus, Jose Beckham, Savannah Belcher, Tyler Brock, Paxton Butler, Carrigan Chapman, Travis Checchi, Lindsey Cooper, Ean Cryer, Ethan Dies, Damion Dishman, William Dowling, Brady Driver, Noelle Driver, Hannah Evans, Austin Farley, Hunter Faulk, Cristian Ferrell, Jacob Frazier, Kim Garner, Breanna Gibson, Emily Glass, Cody Hale, Chris Hobbs, Kenzie Knowles, Candice Lyle, Mark Mace, Tanner Malone, Jared Marler, Ethan Martin, A.J. Mofield, Cassidy Montgomery, Caitlynn Nickell, Dalton Norrod, Brandon O’Neal, Jasmine Parker, Jesse Smith, Nick Staley, Samantha Street, Dusten Sutherland, Chrissy Taylor, Austin Tomlin, Caitlin Tyree, Devin Vanatta, and Kyleigh White.

DeKalb 4-H High School Wildlife Judging team Winners Awarded

May 23, 2014
Dr. April Martin
Senior 4-H Wildlife Judging Team Members
Regional Wildlife Judging Team Members

What wildlife species are predominant in Tennessee? How do you do a wildlife management plan for a landowner? How do you tell the difference between a barred owl and a great horned owl? These and many other questions were knowledge areas that DeKalb County 4-H members have been studying since October leading up to the regional contest.

The DeKalb County 4-H High School Wildlife Judging team recently placed 4th at the regional contest held at the Wilderness Station in Murfreesboro. They will be advancing to the state contest in June. Team members included: James Mathis, Wyatt Martin, Lydia Trail, Caitlyn Lawrence, and Eli Oliver.

The Junior High team members included Shelby Sprague and Kayla Belk.
The Junior team member included Lily Martin who placed 9th highest individual in the contest.

Congratulations to these 4-H members! 4-H judging teams teach decision making, teamwork, and communication skills in many areas including wildlife, consumer education, dairy products, livestock, poultry, meat identification, and outdoor meat cookery.
The University of Tennessee Extension offers all its’ programs to all people.

For attached Senior High picture caption:
DeKalb County Senior 4-H Wildlife Judging Team Members (left to right): Caitlyn Lawrence, Eli Oliver, James Mathis, Lydia Trail and Wyatt Martin (photo by April Martin)

For attached wildlife regional teams picture caption:
DeKalb County 4-Her participating in the Regional Wildlife judging competition (left to right): Caitlyn Lawrence, Kayla Belk, Eli Oliver, Shelby Sprague, James Mathis, Lily Martin, Wyatt Martin, and Lydia Trail (photo by April Martin).

DeKalb Jobless Rate Falls to 5.7%, Local Industry Seeks "Temp to Hire" Workers

May 23, 2014
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County's Unemployment Rate dropped to 5.7% in April, down from 6.7% in March and well below the rate of 8.5% in April, 2013.

The news comes as Shiroki North America in Smithville seeks "Temp to Hire" workers. In an advertisement on WJLE, HG Staffing is announcing "Immediate Openings at Shiroki North America in Smithville. All positions are "Temp to Hire". Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, pass a drug screen and a background check. Persons may apply in person at Shiroki in Smithville Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. or in McMinnville Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. For more information call 931-474-1300.

The local Labor Force for April was 9,050. A total of 8,530 were employed and 520 were without work.

DeKalb County's Jobless Rate for April was fifth lowest in the fourteen county Upper Cumberland region.

Here's how they rank from highest to lowest:

Pickett: 9.7%
Van Buren: 8.6%
Clay: 8%
White: 7.6%
Cumberland: 6.9%
Jackson: 6.7%
Fentress: 6.7%
Warren: 6.4%
Overton: 6.2%
DeKalb: 5.7%
Putnam: 5.5%
Smith: 4.9%
Macon: 4.9%

County unemployment rates for April 2014 show the rate decreased in all 95 counties.

Davidson and Knox counties had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rates in April, both at 4.7 percent. Davidson was down from 5.5 percent in March and Knox was down from 5.6 percent. The Hamilton County April rate was 5.6 percent, down from 6.7 percent in March. Shelby County was 7.1 percent in April, down from 8.4 percent in March. Both Tennessee and the U.S. had April unemployment rates of 6.3 percent, and both were down from 6.7 percent in March.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

DCHS Graduation Tonight

May 23, 2014
Dwayne Page
Dr. Hugh Don Cripps
Kelsey Evins
Jordan Wilkins

DeKalb County High School has set graduation for Friday, May 23 at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.

Dr. Hugh Don Cripps will be the guest speaker. Dr. Cripps was President of the Class of 1964 at DCHS.

The commencement program will also feature the presentation of the White Rose and Citizenship Awards to members of the Class, a performance by the DCHS Chorus, and remarks by the Class Valedictorian Kelsey Evins and Class President Jordan Wilkins. Honor students will also be recognized including those who have earned top rank, honors, and distinction status. The DCHS band will perform the processional and recessional. Principal Patrick Cripps will make brief comments and present the class to Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, who will then award diplomas to the graduates as their names are called.

A total of 169 students make up the Class of 2014 at DCHS including the following.


Marisol Acuna, Salma Yvette Acuna, Annatasia D. Alexander, Jorge Luis Alvarez-Tinajero, Elisha Brooke Anderson, Jordan Eugene Angle, Peter Zechariah Antoniak, Julia Carolina Armendariz, Courtney McKenzie Avera,

Karem Sylvana Bain, Brayde Magallester Baker, Hannah Michelle Ball, Zachary Bandy, Ashley Michelle Barnes, Brandon Cole Barnes, Charles Hudson Beltz, Dean Andrew Betsworth, Dustin Hunter Billings, Chelsey Michelle Brannon, Erika Nichole Brown,

Christopher Thomas Caldwell, Courtney Nicole Caldwell, Hannah Grace Cantrell, James Robert Cantrell, Taneah Brooke Cantrell, Taylor Brook Cantrell, Kayna Elizabeth Caplinger, Jacqueline Danielle Ruth Chastain, Nathaniel Andrew Chastain, Rachel Nicola Checchi, Morgan Shenee Clark, Tiffany Ann Collier, Dillon Michael Colwell, Lauren Elizabeth Colwell, Austin Taylor Cook, Kayla Grace Cook, Alexis Cintara Cornelius, Juan Rodrigo Cuellar, Chelsie Loraine Cunningham, Briana Nicole Cutliff,

Joshua Philip Davidson, Jenice D. Davis, Makala Jaye Dawson, William Gatlin Dougherty, Joe Delmer Driver, Bryan Christopher Duncan,

Hunter Lee Eckert, Sarah Elizabeth Edwards, Katlin Alli Emme, Kelsey Elizabeth Evins,

Joseph Bradley Faulk, Darian Cheyene Ferrell, Dustan Lee Ferrell, Kalab Anthony Ferrell, Travis Dale Ferrell, Austin Tyler Frazier, Shannon Randall Freeman, Corey Blaine Frye,

Thomas Dustin Garrett, Michelle Gay, Hannah Rebekah Gaylord, Seth Joseph Gerringer, Conner Anne Giddens, Eli Cody Gill, Kelsi Nichole Glenn, Cody Daniel Gooch, Thomas I. Graham, Haley Jada Gray, Christianna Faith Grubb, Ricky Wilson "Trey" Guinn, Geovani Guadalupe Guzman Godinez,

Deana Marie Hale, Kaylee Megan Hale, Anthony J. Hamlet, Michael Cody Harrell, Cody Wayne Hattaway, Megan Nicole Hawker, Ashley Caitlin Hershman, Kayla Lynn Hogue, Chase Ramsey Hoke, Sarah Elizabeth Hunt,

Christopher Lewis Jablonski, Zachary Bly Jerrells, Daniel Lynn Johnson, Magan Jewell Johnson, Nicholas Wade Johnson, Kaitlynn Jones, Ethan Curtis Judkins,

Tyler Blane Keen, Lukas Phillip Knowles,

Cayton Lance, Matthew Charles Lane, Elizabeth Catherine Lasser, Haley Rachea Lawson, Steven Jay Laxton, Lauren Alexandrea Lewis, Nicholas Cade Linder, Eli Nathanial Lomas, Tiffany Amber Ludwig,

Kelsey Ann MacDonald, Elizabeth Jane Mason, Tayza Cristina Matthews, Lauren Ashley Medlin, Brittany Leisha Merriman, James Joseph Messina, Anthony Mofield, Tyler Ryne Monette, Caleb Joshua Moore, Jacob William Moore, Mickael Flyn Mosley,

Chancy Newsom, Megan Nicole Nichols, Alivia Jade Nokes,

Ashley Nichole Pack, Steven Allen Page, David Ross Parker, John Hunter Parkhurst, Brandon Fransisco Pilcher, Thomas Franklin Pollard, McKenzie Brooke Poteete,

Victoria Ann Redmon, Danielle Taylor Reed, Laura Lynn Reed, Cameron Allen Rhea, Courtney Leigh Rice, Emma Katherine Rigsby, Jody Dayzion Ringo, Austin Rochefort, Ethan Lyn Roller, George Eugene Roller, Victor John Roller, Jr., Joshua Lynn Rushing,

Carlos Alfonso Serna, Roger David Sharp, III, Samantha Renee Sircy, Emily Anne Snow, Zack Snyder, Bryan Ezequiel Sosa Morales, Patrick Bailey Spare, Zachary Dominic Sparks, Cheyenne Delores Stacy, Mallory Elizabeth Sullivan, Devin James Cobb Summers,

Allison Renee Taylor, Jordan Chase Taylor, Kristen Nicole Taylor, Shauna Faith Taylor, Andrew McilWain Thomas, Rebecca Nathallia Hope Thomas, Kalynn Michelle Thompson, Krysta Renee Thompson, Jordan Alexander Turner, Danielle Franseen Tyson,

Eloy Nehemias Velazquez, Crystal Page Vickers,

Dakota Esbie Waggoner, Xena J.B. Walker, Katelyn Michelle Walz, Evan Gregory Ward, Waylon John West, Kayla Ashley Wheeler, Brittany Nicole Wilkerson, Jordan Allen Wilkins, Jessica Marie Williams, Matthew Dillon Williams, Skylar Paige Winningham, Justin Brady Wiser,

Dylan Howard Young and Taylor Brook Youngblood.

Edgar Evins State Park Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

May 22, 2014
Edgar Evins State Park Celebrates Grand Re-Opening
New Campsite at Edgar Evins State Park

Edgar Evins State Park celebrated a grand re-opening of its 60-site campground on Wednesday, May 21 with state and local representatives. Most of the 60 sites received upgrades from 30 amp to 50 amp electrical service. In addition, the platform-type sites of steel and concrete were inspected and any potential structural degradation issues were repaired.

The renovation project also included the extension of the length of several sites to accommodate larger RVs. Situated around the slopes of Center Hill Lake, many of the sites have lake views.

Edgar Evins State Park is located on the shores of Center Hill Lake in the steep, hilly Eastern Highland Rim. The 6,000-acre park provides many recreational opportunities and accommodations on one of the most beautiful reservoirs in Tennessee. In addition to campsites, Edgar Evins State Park has 34 split level cabin suites, including ADA accessible and pet friendly units.

Reservations can be made by contacting the park at 931-858-2114 or online at

(ABOVE PHOTO: (left to right): Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce Director Suzanne Williams, King Construction Company’s Adam Hall, TDEC Deputy General Counsel Jenny Howard, TDEC Legislative Liaison Ryan Swindell, TN State Parks Senior Advisor Anne Marshall, Edgar Evins State Park Manager Carl Halfacre, Upland Design Group’s Derrick Clemow, TN State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, Friends of Edgar Evins President Fount Bertram, Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill, Upland Design Group Project Manager Scott Nicholson, TN State Sen. Mae Beavers, Edgar Evins Facilities Supervisor Jason Cross, East TN Park Area Manager Robin Wooten, TN State Parks Facilities Management Director David Benton, Edgar Evins’ Leona Bain, King Construction Company’s Tobin Stevens, Edgar Evins’ Charles Rodgers and King Construction Company’s Brian King.

Essay Winners Recognized at DeKalb West DARE Graduation

May 22, 2014
Dwayne Page
DARE Essay Winners Jordan Crook and Riley Overstreet
Tish Summers presents check to DARE Essay winner Jordan Crook

Fifth graders at DeKalb West School received pins and certificates during the annual DARE graduation ceremony held Thursday.

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at DeKalb West School are Jordan Crook and Riley Overstreet . The fifth grade teachers are Jeana Caplinger and Nadina Manganiello.

Crook was the over-all winner and he read his essay during Thursday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Crook gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the DARE Mascot and he received a $50 check from Judge Bratten Cook II, presented in his absence by Tish Summers.

In addition to Sheriff Patrick Ray and Chief Deputy Adamson, others on hand for the ceremony were DeKalb West School Principal Danny Parkerson, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen and employees of the Sheriff's Department

NRCS Starts Signup for Agricultural Lands and Wetland Conservation Easements

May 22, 2014

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for its new Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). Up to $366 million is available nationwide for the purchase of conservation easements on eligible agricultural lands and wetlands.

“This is an exciting new opportunity for even more people to get involved in conserving natural resources,” said Tennessee State Conservationist Kevin Brown. “We encourage state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and private landowners to contact their local NRCS office to find out how to apply.”

The ACEP, created through the 2014 Farm Bill, funds easements for agricultural lands and wetland reserves. Approved agricultural easements would prevent productive working lands from being converted to non-agricultural uses and maximize protection of land devoted to food production. Cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland are eligible.
Wetland reserve easements would restore and enhance wetlands and improve habitat. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored.

Applications are currently being accepted for wetlands reserve easements and will be rated according to the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife.

Applications must be submitted to Tennessee NRCS by June 6, 2014. Applications are available at local USDA Service Center and at

Agreements will be evaluated starting in late August. The ACEP combines NRCS’ former Farm and Ranch Lands Protection, Grassland Reserve and Wetlands Reserve programs. Learn more about ACEP and other Farm Bill programs at

To get started with NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center or
Learn more about the Farm Bill at


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