The John Starr Family, Starr Valley Farm is being recognized by the Westmoreland Conservation District as its 2021 Conservation Farmer of the Year for the farm’s outstanding conservation efforts. In addition, the WCD is honoring Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce as its 2021 J. Roy Houston Conservation Partner. Both of the awardees will be honored by a presentation on Oct. 6 at the district’s headquarters on Donohoe Road.
When John and Margi Starr bought their first farm, 125 acres of land in Allegheny Township, the soil had gone fallow for decades, the fields were overgrown with young forests of crab apple trees and brush and the property was in such poor condition that John Starr’s uncle, a successful farmer, said the only thing that could be raised there was a disturbance. However, after more than 1,500 truckloads of horse manure and two decades of good conservations management, Starr Valley Farm produces some of the most sought-after grass-fed beef in the region.