Currently operated by Clint and Kara Burkholder, the third generation of the family to manage the Pennsylvania farm, Burk-Lea Farm aims to uphold the family legacy while incorporating modern farming practices and technologies to enhance efficiency and sustainability.
One of the notable environmental initiatives at Burk-Lea Farm is the implementation of a flush system in their barn, which efficiently recycles sand for re-use, leading to significant waste reduction. The farm also prioritizes practices such as crop rotation and cover cropping to preserve soil health and maintain a balanced nutrient profile.
In addition to their focus on sustainable farming, Burk-Lea Farm actively participates in the local community. They frequently host tours and educational events, providing an opportunity for visitors to learn about sustainable farming practices and the dairy industry. Notably, they opened their doors to fourth-graders from the area to learn about farming during a Fall Farm Fun Fest. In 2022, the Burkholders also hosted a Congressional delegation to discuss agricultural issues and policy.
At the core of Burk-Lea’s operations is a deep commitment to the welfare of their animals. The farm has implemented comprehensive employee training programs to ensure that all staff members are well-versed in the farm’s protocols. Several measures keep their herd comfortable too, such as sand bedding for comfort and traction, rubber flooring in alleyways, and cooling systems to keep the cows comfortable in the summer months.
“We care about the cows. We care about the land. And we’re trying to do our best for both,” said Clint.
“We’re very proud to be dairy farmers and be able to create a product that we can share with the community,” Kara added.