Soil Health & Watershed Groups

Vermillion Headwaters Watershed Partnership

Vermillion-Illinois Watershed

East Central Illinois

landowners gather to see how one neighbor is managing cover crops and conservation tillage.
On a late fall day, landowners gather to see how one neighbor is managing cover crops and conservation tillage.


Contact: Shelby Best - Midwest Program Manager / American Farmland Trust

Phone: (262) 475-9822

Social Media:


American Farmland Trust is working with local stakeholders through the Vermilion Headwaters Watershed (VHW) Partnership to support the adoption of well-managed conservation cropping systems, leading to improvements in water quality and soil health. If you farm in Livingston or Ford Counties, Illinois and/or have farmland in the Vermilion Headwaters Watershed, there are many technical and financial resources available to help you reduce tillage, increase nutrient efficiency, and implement cover crops. American Farmland Trust and the VHW Partnership can help you identify conservation practices to achieve your soil health and water quality goals.

The Vermilion Headwaters Watershed Partnership is a collaboration of stakeholders, including farmers, community leaders, government agencies, research institutions, and non-profit organizations, working to reduce the loss of nitrogen from farmland in the VHW. By adopting conservation cropping systems, which include practices such as reduced tillage, cover crops, nutrient management,

Watershed or Service Area Map

About Us

Growing a Group:

  • Active group 5+ years
  • Book sharing
  • Farmer-led group
  • Formed a new group
  • Fundraising
  • Grant writing
  • Member-led project planning
  • Neighbor to neighbor mentoring
  • Personal invitations to neighbors to grow the group
  • Other


  • Actively participated in local watershed planning process
  • Collaboration with agriculture or conservation organizations
  • Collaboration with local ag retailers and/or crop advisors
  • Collaboration with local civic groups
  • Collaboration with local college or university
  • Other


  • Engage local schools
  • Media interviews
  • Presentation to groups
  • Promotion to media outlets
  • Social media cultivation
  • Video Development
  • Website Development
  • Other

Land & Water:

  • Bioreactors
  • Cover crops
  • Crop diversification
  • Floodplain restoration
  • Grass waterways
  • Grazing
  • Nutrient management & retention
  • Perennial crops
  • Prairie strips
  • Saturated buffers
  • Stream buffers
  • Stream restoration
  • Water retention basins
  • Wetlands
  • Other

Assessment & Data:

  • Agronomic data collection
  • Field edge data collection
  • Field walkovers
  • Stream monitoring
  • Other


  • Fishing event
  • Farm field days
  • Paddle event
  • Upstream or downstream connections/visits
  • Booth at local event
  • Other

Fishers & Famers Partnership Program Participation:

  • Workshop
  • Neighbor to Neighbor Radio Podcast
  • Boots on the Ground Online Conversation
  • Group Presentation
  • Project Tour
  • Featured in a Story
  • Featured in a Video
  • Meetings
  • None

Additional Photos

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