Rodney Atkins talks with the Cookeville Times

By Jodie Steele

With his platinum record If You’re Going Through Hell & several number one singles, Rodney Atkins has become one of the Upper Cumberland’s favorite sons.

Rodney Atkins released his third album entitled It’s America on March 31st.

When asked how he became involved with the local Mustard See Ranch, Atkins said he had become aware of the organization nearly two years ago.

At the time, founder Rex Buckner had just begun to lay the groundwork for the opening of Mustard Seed Ranch in 2009.

“They just seemed like a good bunch of people,” said Atkins when asked why he had agreed to headline the benefit concert.

Headlining a benefit concert for Mustard Seed Ranch is a natural fit for Atkins.

The country star started out in life as ““Jimmy Holston,” an infant in the care of the Holston United Methodist Children’s Home in Greenville, TN.

When adopted, his parents renamed him Rodney Atkins, a name fans would come to associate with hits like 2007’s “Watching You” and Atkins current number one single, “It’s America.”

After finishing high school & attending junior college, Atkins went to Tennessee Tech University.

It was while at TTU he met his future wife.

Atkins immediate & extended family remain members of the Baxter & Cookeville communities in Putnam County.

Two of Atkins’ stepdaughters currently attend TTU, where his brother-in-law is an engineering professor.

In 1997 Atkins charted his first county hit and was signed to Curb Records.

In June of 2009, Atkins was honored at a ribbon cutting ceremony in which the “Rodney Atkins Youth Home” was named and dedicated in Greenville, TN.

The Mustard See Ranch, in Cookeville, opened its doors in 2009 to children who can no longer live at home.

The goal is to provide a stable, home environment for kids to live until they reach legal age, 18.

In addition, there are several small apartments on campus which will be open to children who have lived in the home while they attend trade school, community college, or university.

When talking about the upcoming concert, Atkins said he was glad to participate in a community event that showed people what they did in their everyday lives really did matter.

The benefit concert will be held at TTU’s Hooper-Eblen Center on October 8, tickets are $25 per person. Proceeds will benefit both The Mustard Seed Ranch & the TTU athletics program.

Read the article online here.