2010-07-15 / Front Page

Litton Named Cooperator Of The Year

Recognized for his many conservation projects

Lester Litton (left) receives the Fulton Soil Conservation District’s 2010 Cooperator of the Year award from district board member Neill Miller. Lester Litton (left) receives the Fulton Soil Conservation District’s 2010 Cooperator of the Year award from district board member Neill Miller. The county’s annual Ag Picnic was held Sunday at the American Legion picnic grounds and the Fulton County Conservation District named Lester Litton the 2010 Cooperator of the Year.

In presenting the award, the district noted that Litton operates Litton Farms, a small cow/calf operation on Big Cove Tannery Road east of Warfordsburg in Thompson Township.

In 2001, he installed 1,595 feet of fencing to protect 1,465 feet of stream and planted trees to create .3 acre of forested riparian buffer through the Riparian Buffer Restoration Project operated by Chesapeake Bay Foundation & Ducks Unlimited.

Litton contacted the district for further assistance with an additional water quality concern in 2008. His cattle had the area around the hay bale feeders and below the barnyard constantly stomped up, and they also had direct access to the small intermit- tent stream. The runoff from his bank barn roof and driveway area drained through the feedlot and barnyard areas. It took the district and Litton about 18 months to assemble the engineering designs and work out the financial arrangements before construction could begin. Litton installed a stabilized feeding area (30 feet by 100 feet) and a walkway (80 feet) from the feeding pad to the opposite side of the stream with stone and stone dust. He installed 1,345 feet of three-strand and 245 feet of fourstrand high tensile fencing to fence the cattle from the stream and to confine them when on the feedlot. A “French-style” subsurface drain was installed to intercept barn roof and driveway runoff and pipe it to a safe outlet. Litton installed a rock-lined “plunge basis” to dissipate the energy of the water coming through the large corrugatedplastic culvert under Big Cove Tannery Road. He created a half acre of herbaceous riparian buffer by fencing out the intermittent stream.

Litton also installed two stream crossings (one below the barn and one at the lower end of the buffer) to manage the movement of the cattle from one side of the buffer to the other. He also stabilized 400 feet of grass waterways in a cropland field with subsurface drains.

It was for that conservation initiative and his accomplishments that Litton was chosen the Fulton County Conservation District 2010 Conservation Farmer of the Year, according to information released by the district.

The Ag Picnic is sponsored annually by the Fulton Conservation District, the Farm Service Agency, the Farm Bureau, the local Penn State Extension Office, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and local milk producers.

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