Old BarnThe Resource Conservation and Development Program (RC&D), initiated in 1962 under authority of Food and Agriculture Act of 1962 (P.L. 87-703), assists multi-county areas in enhancing conservation, water quality, wildlife habitat, recreation and rural development. Work in each area is coordinated by a council. At present, 375 areas have been approved encompassing more than 2,500 counties.

The RC&D Program is a nation-wide USDA program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The purpose of the RC&D program is to accelerate the conservation, development, and utilization of natural resources, improve the general level of economic activity, and to enhance the environment and standard of living in designated RC&D areas. Current program objectives focus on improvement of quality of life achieved through natural resources conservation and community development which leads to sustainable communities, prudent use (development), and the management and conservation of natural resources.

RC&D areas are locally-sponsored areas designated by the Secretary of Agriculture for RC&D technical and financial assistance program funds.The Tennessee RC & D Council is composed of the different RC & D Councils in Tennessee and helps oversee RC & D Council actions in Tennessee.