Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Extension Education

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Cecil E. Carter Jr, James H. Robinson


Man's struggle to control soil erosion is as old as recorded history, yet erosion is still not completely controlled.

A study was undertaken to record the historical development of soil conservation districts in Tennessee utilizing related literature, existing records, and personal interviews with selected parties involved through the years.

Erosion was a problem that the early colonist had to struggle with and the struggle continued until H. H. Bennetfc brought it national attention. The great dust storms of the 1930's helped further to impress the need for a national program to control soil erosion.

A federal law was passed in 1935 creating the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) . To help the SCS bring soil erosion under control more quickly, a model soil conservation district act was drawn up, which all the states adopted in total or with very minor changes. Tennessee adopted the model law.

In Tennessee it took 20 years, 1940-1959, for all of the counties to organize soil conservation districts as provided for in the Act. Previous agreements and World War II were partially the cause of the long time required.

It will continue to require the cooperation of all Federal and State Agencies and other interested organizations if this work is to continue and expand in the future.

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