As a STAR affiliate, Colorado utilizes the STAR field evaluation framework to assess where producers are on their soil health journey. Producers fill out a field evaluation form, choosing from 11 different cropping systems and grazing lands. They then receive a field sign with a 1 through 5 STAR rating and receive assistance from soil health professionals to identify areas for improved management to increase their soil health, document their progress, and share their successes. The Colorado Soil Health Program also provides funding to agriculture communities across the state through the Colorado STAR+ program which provides financial and technical assistance to producers as they implement new practices on one field over three years and to encourage the long-term adoption of these practices across their operation. Participants gain familiarity and expertise with new practices and an increased understanding of the environmental and economic outcomes associated with them. STAR+ also provides significant capacity support, equipment grants, training, and other support to conservation districts and eligible entities so that they can provide technical assistance to landowners where and when they need it in innovative ways. These partners provide trusted local support and knowledge to ensure producer success.



Deputy Director Climate Resilience Specialist

Cindy Lair is the Deputy Director and Climate Resilience Specialist for the Conservation Services Division at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. She leads the Agricultural Drought and Climate Resilience Office (ADCRO), which includes the Soil Health Program, STAR Agricultural Ranking Framework, Agricultural Water Policy, and the Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ACRE3) programs. Within her duties she also oversees the Colorado State Conservation Board and serves on the Colorado Natural and Working Lands Working Group for the US Climate Alliance. She works on agricultural water quality and quantity issues, including Salinity control and the Colorado PFAS Task Force. Cindy graduated from Colorado State University in Natural Resources Management and is an alumna of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Class of 2014.

John A. Miller

Soil Health Program Manager

John was raised on a cattle ranch near Hotchkiss Colorado where he still lives with his wife and daughter. Mr. Miller led the Delta Conservation District’s Irrigation Water Management Program for over a decade where he learned to design and troubleshoot various types of irrigation systems and gained expertise that he uses to promote efficient water usage and sustainable agricultural practices. John has worked with conservation districts across Colorado and believes that active, prosperous districts are a crucial bridge between conservation programs and local producers. Throughout his career, Mr. Miller has been an advocate for implementing healthy soil practices on farms and ranches. He has acquired valuable insights from producers and specialists around the state, making him well-versed in soil conservation strategies. In his role as the Soil Health Program Manager for the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture, John is enthusiastic about guiding the expansion of the State Soil Health Program, ensuring it continues to offer maximum education and assistance to Colorado’s valued agriculture community.