VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- Two counties in the Wabash Valley are leading the way for Hoosiers to reduce nutrient and soil loss in their communities.
The S.T.A.R program stands for - saving tomorrow's agriculture resources. It was developed in Champaign, Illinois, but has since made its way to Parke and Vermillion County in Indiana.
Carter Morgan, a farmer in Vermillion County is also a Soil Health Consultant for the Vermillion-Parke Soil Health Alliance. He said the S.T.A.R program helps producers apply conservation practices to their farms and also helps farmers promote themselves.
"Specifically with like a Kellogs or Frito Lay, or any of those, they're very interested in what [S.T.A.R] shows and what they can put on the shelf in the grocery store. They can put they're sourcing corn from farmers that are an average of three and a half stars, and then they have QR codes on the box. Then you can scan that and then maybe you can learn about the farmer of where it actually comes from," explained Morgan.
The long term goal for Parke and Vermillion County is to get more producers involved in the program.
Eric Shideler, the Conservation Director for Vermillion County Soil and Water Conservation District, said both counties want to do their part in lowering the amount of nutrients that run into the ocean.
"Parke and Vermillion share the Wabash River as a border which is a main outlet to the oceans as it follows down into the Ohio and the Mississippi. So, we just wanted to be able to do our part in keeping our soil in place so that we're not moving soil and or nutrients down into the Gulf of Mexico," said Shideler
Morgan says the star application process is quick and easy and is available here.
The deadline for the two counties is February 5th.