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Farmer Focus:

Burkholders Sustain a Dairy for Generations to Come

August 8, 2022

In farming, success often means creating an operation that can sustain the next generation. And that requires embracing change. That balance of continuity and innovation is what Clint Burkholder and his family have tried to achieve.

“Things change very rapidly on the farm,” said Burkholder, owner of Burk-Lea Farms near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. “We’re striving to do the best that we can. We care for our animals. We care for the land. We need to treat the animals, treat the environment and everything to the best of our ability, because if we don’t, it won’t be there for the next generation.”

The Burkholder family, a member of Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, milks 850 Holsteins, raises roughly 700 heifers and cultivate 1,400 acres of cropland. Animal care and environmental conservation is part of the business plan; they house their cows in free-stall barns with sand bedding and use cover crops and no-till on their cropland to benefit soil and water quality. The farm also has a manure separation system and a water recirculating system to recycle water.

For more of the family’s story and more profiles of innovative dairy farms, visit NMPF’s Sharing Our Story page.

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