6021 Development Drive, Suite 2, Charleston, IL 61920 info@colescountyswcd.org 217-345-3901 ext. 3

S.T.A.R. Program

Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources

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About the S.T.A.R. Program

S.T.A.R. is an exciting initiative developed by farmers and soil and water conservation professionals that offers farm operators and land owners a simple, free, and confidential tool to evaluate their conservation land management practices. The goal of S.T.A.R. is to encourage the continued adoption of conservation practices, and recognize farmers for their commitment to sustainability. From improved nutrient management to cover crops to edge of field water treatment and even crop rotation or inclusion of livestock, a suite of practices can result in a rating of between one and five stars! 

​Ultimately, this program will help reduce the nutrient and soil losses from farmland over larger areas while engaging key stakeholders from all corners of the agriculture sector – retail, commodity, agency, and farmers. In addition, the practices encouraged by S.T.A.R. will also result in improve soil health.

Learn more about the history of the STAR program, view previous year’s reports, and more at https://starfreetool.com/.

Why Use STAR?

The potential benefits to participating landowners and farm operators are numerous, and include:

  • Decreased nutrient loss
  • Promote a positive image of farmers and agriculture in your community
  • Inspire other farmers and landowners to take action in helping to meet nutrient and sediment loss reduction goals 
  • Promote producers for new farmland leases
  • Assist producers in securing local conservation cost share
  • Assist producers in obtaining future market incentives for crops grown using conservation cropping practices
  • Assist producers in obtaining documentation in support of water quality issues
  • Support the work of soil and water conservation districts across the nation

Getting Started

Fill out a 2020 STAR Field Form for EACH FIELD you want to evaluate. There are three ways to fill out a STAR Field Form:

​1. Use the FREE online portal.

2. Download the fillable PDF form, complete, and email it to lauren.spaniol@il.nacdnet.net

3. Print the form, complete by hand, and mail or deliver to our office: 
Coles County SWCD​
6021 Development Drive, Suite 2
Charleston, IL 61920

After we receive your STAR forms:

  • Coles County SWCD will score your fields.
  • The completed score sheet and a copy of your field form will be sent back to you.
  • A free sign to show off your S.T.A.R. ranking will be available to place next to your field.

NOTE: The S.T.A.R. program is a free, confidential tool. The Coles County SWCD and Champaign County SWCD will NEVER share your rating or information without your consent.

Supporters of the STAR Program

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