In the rural area of Blair County, known as Greenfield Township, in a section known as Pole Cat Hollow, Burket Falls Farm is known world-wide for the registered Holstein dairy cattle with the polled (naturally hornless) and red hair coat genes that they have developed and bred. Today, over two-thirds of all polled Holsteins in the world trace their roots to Burket Falls Farm.
The farm was established in 1928 by Frank W. Burket. His son Dave assumed responsibility of the family farm at the age of fourteen when his father was injured and unable to work the farm. "Dad was going to sell the farm. I talked him out of it. Since I was only fourteen, I was still in school. I got up early and worked before school and went back to work after school", Dave remembers.
Dave's son John, who currently runs the farm said, that when his dad took over the dairy farm, they had mostly Guernsey and Cross-Breeds. Then, in 1960, he says that his dad decided that he wanted some registered Holsteins. So, Dave went with a friend to Wisconsin and purchased a group of registered Holsteins. Dave says that there were twenty-two cows in a trailer. His friend bought eleven and he, himself, bought eleven.
Dave recalls, "It just so happened that one of the cows that I bought had a calf, which never developed horns." He remembers that the only thing that was different about the calf is that she was such an agressive eater. She would eat anything that the older cattle would eat. He says, "That is unusual. Usually, all they want is milk....
***To read their complete article, check out the upcoming book release They Came From Blair County Volume 2 due out by the end of this year.
***Information for this article was obtained through an in person interview with Dave and John Burket.
***Photos were provided by Dave and John Burket