Slayton Appointed Assistant State Forester
Nashville – Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton is announcing the appointment of Heather Slayton as Assistant State Forester for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) Division of Forestry.
“Heather has been a valuable asset to this department since her first day working here,” Commissioner Templeton said. “As a leader, Heather sets an ideal example, taking initiative and working tirelessly to get the job done, even going beyond her typical responsibilities if the situation calls for it.”
Slayton will be the first woman to serve as Assistant State Forester. In that role, she will be responsible for overseeing the Division of Forestry budget, contributing to development of short- and long-term strategic and tactical plans, and developing the division’s workforce. She will also supervise the administration of the forest health and sustainability unit, as well as the reforestation unit.
Slayton succeeds David Arnold, who recently became Tennessee’s State Forester.
“With her ability to connect with others and her experience in the field, Heather is a perfect fit for this role,” Arnold said. “She is a great example of a servant leader, and we’re fortunate to have her on our team as we continue to protect, conserve, and enhance Tennessee’s forest resources.”
Slayton began working at TDA in 2012 as a forest health specialist. She developed and executed forest health training programs and managed statewide programs. She transitioned to the role of forest health sustainability unit leader in 2014, where she additionally administered all rural and urban forest management programs, as well as the operating budget totaling $2.3 million.
“I am honored to be appointed to this position,” Slayton said. “Serving the landowners and citizens of Tennessee has been and continues to be an extremely rewarding experience. I am looking forward to supporting David Arnold throughout his administration and creating strategies and solutions to improve the operation of the division.”
Slayton was raised in Danville, Va. and earned a B.S. in Forestry from Virginia Tech. In her spare time, she enjoys golfing, boxing, road biking, traveling, and working on her 10 acre hobby farm in Rutherford County.