The object of this award is to provide recognition to an outstanding conservationist in the Coles County Soil and Water Conservation District that exemplifies Total Resource Management. It is open to all landowners and/or operators who are soil and water conservation district cooperators. Recipients are selected based on their use of best management practices, implementation of new and innovative technologies, demonstrations of commitment to conservation and stewardship, participation in educational programs and community involvement, and leadership in community, government, and nonprofit or grassroots groups to further their work.
Uphoff Family Farms was chosen as Coles County SWCD’s 2019 Conservation Farmers of the year. Farming primarily in the Mattoon area, Stan, Bill, and family have been active SWCD and NRCS Cooperators for many years. Throughout that time they have been good stewards of the land in their care, actively adopting and applying conservation practices benefiting water quality, soil quality and health, and wildlife. They have installed and maintain numerous grassed waterways, filter strips, and a shallow water wetland, which all benefit water quality as well as providing habitat for wildlife. Additionally, they have adopted measures to prevent soil erosion, such as conservation tillage, crop rotations, cover crops, and installation of numerous structures such as terraces and grade stabilization structures. The Uphoffs are also actively involved in the community. Stan serves as the road commissioner for Paradise township. Bill has served on several advisory committees for Extension and the Fair. Additionally, the family is helping to educate Coles County’s future farmers and conservationists through their participation with 4-H, where the kids have shown beef cattle.