Little River Conservation District in Pecan Paradise
While the rest of us are bundled up indoors, Little River Conservation District’s Frank Acker, District Manager, and John Burnett, District Technician, are out harvesting pecans from Thanksgiving to the middle of January on the district’s demonstration farm. It’s a cold, tough job that shows just what a big heart the Little River CD has.
Acquired in 1995, the 124 acre farm contains between 800 and 900 paper shell and native pecan trees and has been a tremendous boon to conservation efforts in the district.
“We are very fortunate to have this farm…[but] this place was not always a money maker,” said Acker. “For the first three years we had the place, we did nothing but work on it, trying to get it into a useable state, then it took several years of harvesting pecans to pay for the harvesting equipment.”
Nowadays, the problem the two have is trying to decide who operates the cab tractor when it’s 20 degrees outside. The district is often able to turn a respectable profit from the venture, which is used to finance the district’s contests, award student scholarships, and update and purchase equipment.