Meet Our Team
Lynn Sprague: Executive Director
As Executive Director for Southwestern NC RC&D Council, Lynn works to form partnerships in order to solve natural resource problems to improve our environment and economy. As the Director of Agricultural Development for Polk County, Lynn worked to find new ways to grow the local agriculture economy. Lynn has also worked in Delaware, New York, and Raleigh, North Carolina heading up programs for soil and water conservation districts. Lynn holds degrees in forestry, wildlife biology, marine studies, and environmental education.
James Ferguson: Chairman
James M. Ferguson, Chairman of the Southwestern NC RC&D Council, is a man of many roles. Not only is he a lifelong farmer in Haywood County, but he also owns and operates Ferguson Supply/Mini Storage and Ferguson Farms, both located in the Fines Creek Community.
James became active as a leader in conservation work in his late twenties. Next year (2019) he will have served 50 years as a Haywood Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. At the same time, he was a Charter member of the Haywood County Farmland Preservation Board and served on the Haywood Community College Board of Trustees from 1985-2006, where he supported strong conservation, wildlife and forestry programs that have been nationally recognized. Over 30 years ago James was one of the founding members of the Southwestern RC&D Council. Southwestern RC&D Council works with the seven westernmost counties in NC and also with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
James’ leadership goes beyond Haywood County, and in 1984 he received the Order of The Long Leaf Pine Award from then NC Governor Jim Hunt. At the state level he served on the Governor’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, was on the NC Soil and Water Conservation Commission for 18 years with 13 years as Chairman, and served as President of the NC Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts twice. He spent 10 years on the Sediment Control Commission for North Carolina.
James has served on several national committees within the National Association of Conservation Districts. He participated in the National Conservation Partnership including congressional visits, and this year was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Association of RC&D Councils.
anita powell: CFO and Office administrator
Anita D. Powell is our Office Administer and CFO. She coordinates office activities and operations to ensure the smooth running of our office. She has an A.A degree in Business Administration from Mars Hill University and a B.S. degree in Interior Design from Western Carolina University.
Christina newhouse: Agriculture and High tunnel Specialist
Christina Newhouse is our Agricultural and High Tunnel Specialist. She provides conventional and organic agricultural education, marketing, and production assistance to farmers in the Western and Piedmont regions of North Carolina. Additionally, Christina provides fresh produce food safety assistance. She specializes in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) guidelines and regulations.
Jessica Kervin: Conservation Program and Outreach Coordinator
Jessica Kervin is our Conservation Program and Outreach Coordinator. She provides assistance with energy programs like Rural Energy Assistance Program (REAP), TVA, and Tobacco Trust Fund, writes articles for our website, and coordinates outreach for our organization.