Regional Farm News

Thornton named NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Management and Strategy

Clifford Thornton was recently named assistant state conservationist (ASTC) for management and strategy for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Little Rock.

Clifford grew up on a small row crop farm in Lee County, Arkansas.  In 1990, he graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics.


Upon graduation, he worked in Kansas as a soil conservationist in Miami and Jackson counties.  In 1994, he was selected as the Wyandotte County district conservationist in Kansas.

In 1999, he was promoted to resource conservation and development coordinator in Defiance, Ohio.  In 2004, he became the ASTC for field operations in Dayton, Ohio.  In 2011, he was detailed to South Carolina as Acting ASTC for operations.

In 2013, he was detailed to Kentucky as acting state conservationist.  In 2012 he became the ASTC for field operations in Emporia, Kansas.

“I am very excited and looking forward to the opportunities ahead and to work with the conservation team in Arkansas,” Thornton said.

NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help producers adopt a variety of conservation practices on their land. NRCS staff help producers with a conservation plan and provide funding to cover part of the costs for adopting the practices. These practices are designed to benefit both the species and the agricultural operation.

To learn more about assistance opportunities, landowners should contact their local USDA service center or for more information on NRCS,


NRCS Release


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Terry Simmons