AI generated graphic with plants growing above, roots below for Illinois Soil Health Week 2023 March 4-10 at The Illinois State Capitol.

Celebrate Soil Health Week with the Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Agroecology + Innovation Matters, and Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (STAR) March 4-10, 2024 at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. 

Soil is the foundation of life. Along with giving us clean air and water, healthy soil is responsible for food security, rich forests, abundant prairies, diverse wildlife, and stunning landscapes.

Make your mark on our Paint with Art and Science of Soil Health display — March 4-10

  • Join us in painting a mural of our beautiful state with soil-based paint
  • Meet Conservation Planners who are working to protect natural resources across Illinois

Art and Science of Soil Health Advocacy in Action Day — noon-1pm Thursday March 7 

  • Celebrate the success of SB1701
  • Hear from your lawmakers about the importance of soil
  • Learn about STAR success stories from local farmers
  • Meet soil health advocates

Are you coming? Let us know by registering.

Advocacy in Action – Please join your fellow conservation colleagues, SWCD directors/staff, and stakeholders from across the state as we bring our message of clean water, healthy soil to Springfield and our state’s elected officials during Soil Health Week March 4-8.    

March 4-8 – Soil Health Week – Starting Monday March 4 the Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts will showcase of an Art and Science of Soil Health display in the Capitol Rotunda. Visitors will be invited to leave their brush strokes with soil-based paints on a large map of Illinois illustrating our diversity of agriculture, watersheds, and conservation.
March 6 (10am-2pm) Lobby Day – Conservation Stakeholders from across the state will host a lobby day and rally in the Capitol Rotunda. If you’re coming register with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and depending on funding they’ll provide a shirt and sandwich.
March 7 (11am-1pm) Advocacy in Action Day – AISWCD will host The Art and Science of Soil Health Advocacy in Action Day, featuring the Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (STAR) initiative in the Capitol Rotunda. The day will feature presentations from STAR producers, educators, conservation planners, and elected officials to celebrate the value of conservation and SWCDs efforts of Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources … one field at a time. Be sure to check on the progress of and contribute to painting the Art and Science of Soil Health display.
Please join your fellow conservationists and learn about current emerging issues in Illinois as well as up-to-the-minute legislation currently up for a vote. Unite your voice with hundreds of other conservation stakeholders on issues which affect the soil and water conservation profession.

AIM for STAR Farms Advocacy in Action – Thursday March 7
12:00 Welcome by Todd Gleason, Master of Ceremony, of University of Illinois Extension
12:02 Tom Beyers, AISWCD board president outlines a call to action
Sarah Earles, Ford County SWCD
Becky Taylor, Livingston County SWCD
12:05 Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello II
12:10 State Sen. Ram Villivalam, SB 1701 Sponsor
—State Rep. Charlie Meier, Soil Health Week Sponsor
—State Rep. Jason Bunting, SWCD Sign Legislation
12:20 Julie Hewitt, executive director NREC
12:25 Todd Gleason provides some sage thoughts on STAR
12:30 Steve Stierwalt, co-founder STAR, Champaign County SWCD
12:35 Jeff O’Conner, producer and STAR National Board Member
12:40 Frank Rademacher, conservation agronomist, The Nature Conservancy
12:45 Todd Gleason provides transition
12:45 Dick Lyons, the importance of capacity building
12:50 Morgan Cauble, Vandalia, Capacity Building Initiative conservation planner
12:55 Michael Woods, executive director AISWCD
1:00 Todd Gleason wrap up
—Group picture, press interviews

Note – Capitol Rotunda events are limited to noon-1pm

Download and print flyer