Antrim Township farmer honored for conservation efforts

October 26, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Based on the conservation practices utilized on his farm, Marvin T. Long received the 2007 Conservation Farmer of the Year award from the Franklin County Conservation District and the Franklin County Farm Service Agency during a banquet Thursday evening.

"I feel very honored to be recognized as doing an outstanding job with soil conservation," said Long, who owns a farm on Fletcher Drive in Antrim Township, Pa.

"I have put in practice several of the programs for soil conservation and nutrient management," said Long, who has owned the farm for 15 years.

Nutrient management plans involve certain requirements for dealing with the waste products from cattle and chicken, while soil conservation plans deal with the tilling of soil, Long said.


"We look for good conservation practices," said Samuel Worley, director of the Franklin County Conservation District.

Worley said the conservation practices include contour farming and proper disposal of farm waste.

"We were impressed with (Long's) good farming practices (including) contour farming, draining of areas that are not tillable (wetlands) and rotation of crops," Worley said.

Long and his wife, Linda, are the only full-time workers on the farm, where they raise dairy replacement heifers for a farmer. Long's farm contains 120 to 125 heifers and 105,000 chickens.

"Whenever the heifers are ready to have a calf, (the farmer) will get them ready and start milking them," Long said.

Long has been a farmer all of his life, but said he became a conservation farmer out of necessity.

"You don't have a choice," Long said. "If you have over 82,000 chickens, you have to be under the guidelines of the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Industry (CAFO)."

CAFO involves numerous regulations concerning soil conservation and nutrient management.

The process for selecting a farm for this award begins a year in advance, Worley said. Eligible farms are in any of Franklin County's 15 townships.

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