National Dairy Shrine has the privilege to honor five individuals for their lifetime service with the coveted Pioneer Award. These gentlemen are outstanding representatives of the dairy industry. Their recognition as Pioneers of the National Dairy Shrine only adds to the honor roll of leaders in the National Dairy Hall of Fame.
One of this year’s honorees is the well-known cattle breeder David Burket. David from East Freedom, Pennsylvania, has dedicated over 60 years to the development and promotion of quality breeding, becoming an internationally recognized leader in developing polled and red & white Holstein cattle. David took over the family farm in 1946 at the age of 14 after his father suffered an injury.
What started out as a fringe area of interest to some in the dairy industry, the incorporation of polled genetics has now exploded into mainstream application, from David’s work and effort in promoting the benefits of polled cattle to dairy breeders around the globe.
Burket is one of the first breeders to place a polled Registered Holstein sire into an Artificial Insemination (AI) organization in 1975, when Burket Falls ABC became available through American Breeders Service (ABS). Today, researchers have determined that about two-thirds of the present polled Holstein population trace to this bull. Several more polled sires have followed to widen the Burket Falls influence.
David, his wife Betty, and their sons continue to own and operate Burket Falls Holsteins, which was started in 1960. Burket Falls has developed outstanding genetics over the years, including red & white and black & white Holsteins and breed changing polled cattle. Over 150 Burket Falls bred animals have been classified Excellent. Over 65 have been designated Gold Medal Dams and Dams of Merit as well as numerous All-American nominations in both black and white and
red and white Holsteins. The number of cattle sold to fellow breeders has only built the legacy of Burket Falls’ genetics.
David has also found the time to serve his community and industry. David has been active in his church as well as serving the Pennsylvania Holstein Association in various roles for over 30 years. Burket served on numerous National Breed Association committees as well as the Pennsylvania Dairyman’s Association and PA Farm and Home Administration.
David has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Holstein Hall of Fame member, a Larry Moore Distinguished Breeder by the National Red & White Dairy Cattle Association and a recipient of the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Farm Award.
Burket will receive the 2018 Pioneer Recognition at the annual National Dairy Shrine Awards Banquet on Thursday, October 4th in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information about the banquet or about students, producers and dairy industry individuals being recognized by the National Dairy Shrine, please contact National Dairy Shrine at [email protected]
Information on the National Dairy Shrine membership is also available online at Dairy Shrine.