Michael, Mark and Evan Creek of Palmyra Farm in Hagerstown, MD were honored as the 2020 Outstanding Young Ayrshire Breeders by the Ayrshire Breeders’ Association. This award annually recognizes young breeders who are making significant contributions to the Ayrshire breed and dairy industry.
Each member of the trio plays an integral part in the operation of Palmyra Farm in some manner. All participate in mating decisions, and all share enthusiasm in exhibiting Palmyra Farm cattle. Evan is a professional cattle fitter, sale manager and cattle hauler. On the farm, he is in charge of the show string management, the cattle that are boarded at Palmyra for others, the reproductive program and management, and is an important part of the day-to-day operations when he’s home. Mark’s responsibilities at the farm include helping manage the feeding programs and assisting with general operations such as milking and maintenance. He also works off the farm in landscape concrete and finishing. Michael is the Regional Operations Manager at Trans Ova Genetics in Boonsboro, MD, the majority owner of the Prohibition Hub Bar & Restaurant in Hagerstown, MD, and majority owner of Palmyra Farm Cheese, the cheddar cheeses made from Palmyra Farm milk. He helps to manage the
marketing of the Palmyra brand, manages their milk market through Palmyra Cheese, and helps with some business planning for Palmyra Farm. Michael also judges dairy cattle shows from local to international levels.
Each of the brothers has bred and owned animals that have achieved recognition for outstanding production, leaders on genetic index lists, and show winners and All-Americans. They have been the breeders of cow families that have put numerous bulls into A.I. studs, with the most notable being Palmyra Tri-Star Burdette-ET and Palmyra Berkely Reagan-ET.
As fourth-generation Ayrshire breeders, the brothers see a bright future for the breed. The moderate size of the Ayrshire gives her an advantage of allowing her to fit into many different management structures. “Burdette” had a hand in turning feet and legs into a strength for the breed, and they feel the Ayrshire remains one of the best uddered breeds.
The brothers feel the breed needs to work to increase the national herd average to high component milk production, avoid haplotypes, increase and promote genomic testing to improve its accuracy, and increase the percentage of the national herd that carries the A2A2 gene. They say we must also continue to find inventive and inclusive ways to market the adaptive abilities of the breed to commercial dairymen, small dairies looking to enter direct-to-consumer markets, or youth who are interested in a new dairy project for 4-H and FFA.
Provided by the Ayrshire Breeders’ Association