For over two centuries, the rugged terrain and, at times, harsh environment of South Texas has provided the farmer and rancher with a challenging way of life. Modern day farming and ranching techniques provide some limited improvement, but the integration of technology and institutional knowledge is slow to evolve. Capturing empirical data, lessons learned, and combining this knowledge base with the implementation of best practices and current technology is paramount to success in this austere environment.

A solution for the development of a sustainable agricultural model will benefit the area by providing alternatives to the ranchers and local communities. In addition, this South Texas area can be seen as a hotspot whose challenges and potential solutions could have far reaching benefits globally.

Creating an educational research and training environment for South Texas Ranching, Farming, and Land Management is paramount to supporting not only our Texas Heritage but our sustainability. A place where students have access to livestock, crops, labs, and the latest technology, as well as ranching and farming equipment is essential.
South Texas Advancement Resource (STAR), a 501(c)(3), nonprofit was created to take on this challenge. Through educational partnerships with Texas A&M University, Laredo College, USDA, and private investments, the organization’s goal is to provide scholarships, internships, outplacement, tuition assistance, and paid training in an atmosphere that promotes best practices and innovation.

Current STAR Programs

1. Vegetable Production in a Food Desert

2. Urban Conservation Project

3. Vocational Student Assistance at Laredo College

4. TradeTools for Vocational Students

5. Texas A&M Capstone Program

6. Gene S. Walker Scholarship Program