Kortright, Delaware County Covered Barnyard

On the Allan and Dave Swantak Farm, the farmers run a milking dairy at the home farm and a replacement heifer operation down the road. Betty Brook runs through this 425-acre property en route to the West Branch River and Cannonsville Reservoir. NRCS Planner Suzanne Baker juggled the water quality issues at the heifer barn. Water was running downhill, through composted manure, through a road culvert and into the river.

Project construction began mid-August. Three days later, regional flooding threatened to sidetrack the job. While this property was unaffected, huge demand for construction and heavy equipment drew contractors away from scheduled projects for higher wages and community support. The site’s long-term compost pile posed the greatest challenge. The Planning Team was unsure how deep it actually was until they started removing manure. Most area dump trucks filled flood demand, leaving few for carting manure from this site. Eventually, several local contractors removed the majority of the free highquality compost for unrelated landscaping projects.

Contractor David E. Stanton, Stanton Excavating of Walton, oversaw the $186,000 project. Lancaster Poured Concrete addressed the foundation work and in turn subcontracted the building to Pine Creek Builders. “Once the leveling and earthwork was complete, the Pennsylvania group raised the structure in the quickest time I’ve ever seen,” noted Paula O’Brien, Soil & Water Engineering Technician. “These young Amish guys wanted to get done before the marrying season started. That motivation carried them forward quickly.” The covered barnyard measures 100 feet by 54 feet. Laminate- treated lumber posts were set on concrete posts and lagged with brackets. “This new post composite prevents rot,” noted O’Brien. “This is only the second building we’ve done with these materials and we’ll see how they pan out. They’re a challenge to set in line, but the long-term benefits make the extra work worth it.” Foundation curbing allows the farmer to collect manure easily and provides a stable support for the new posts. Cable fencing runs from steel plates on each post with chainlinks welded to the plate, a design created by Engineer Jason Skinner. Other structure amenities include skylight roof panels to allow sunlight into the feeding area; 14-foot high to trusses to accommodate large machinery; and stone-lined drip trenches surround the structure diverting roof rainwater to the culvert.