NEW WINDSOR, Md — Eric and Faith Burall relocated their farm in 1994 from Petersville in Frederick County, Md., to New Windsor in Carroll County. They had three young children and a new farmstead in need of improvements.
Neighbors from their former location and their new location came out to help ready the facilities and move cows through the parlor. Many were dairy farmers with their own work to do at home.
“We wouldn’t have gotten it all ready if not for them,” Eric Burall said.
Almost 20 years later, the Buralls earned a Maryland Dairy of Distinction award for their efforts in keeping a beautiful farmstead and quality herd of dairy cattle. Their three children are still involved on the farm, as are their spouses and children.
The Buralls own 157 acres and rent an additional 150 acres. They grow corn, hay, barley and triticale. They milk 140 Holsteins with a rolling herd average of 22,000 pounds of milk and 40 Brown Swiss with a rolling herd average of 18,000 pounds of milk. They also milk 10 head of Jerseys.
Over the years, the Buralls made numerous improvements to the farm, including a new heifer barn and pre-fresh barn, and expansion of the parlor from a double four to a double eight. The farm needed new fence, additional trenches and hay storage.
“We had to redo the parlor and put a new roof on the parlor and freestall,” Eric Burall said.
The renovations allowed the family to expand their herd numbers.
Improvements were made in other areas, including energy savings and herd genetics.
The family looked to EnSave for an energy audit, which led to a new variable speed pump for the milking system.
Daughter Erin Burall Mongold introduced the first Brown Swiss to the herd in 1993. More recently, the family’s Brown Swiss earned many state and national Bell Ringer awards. Last year they captured the reserve intermediate champion and reserve grand champion Brown Swiss at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg.
“That’s the first time we showed milk cows at Harrisburg,” Mongold said.
Their cow, Burlin Torch Jazz, made the genomic listing and now has a bull contract with New Generation Genetics. This is the Buralls’ first bull contract.
To keep the farm running like a well-oiled machine, all the family members pitch in with different aspects of the farm.
“My son-in-law does all the lawn care. He said he’d give me a break,” Eric Burall said. “He used to milk cows and knows what farming is.”
Mongold is the herdswoman and does a lot of the mating. Her sister Holly Burall Kiser helps with a special focus on working with the children to break their show animals. Holly and her husband, Glen, keep some heifers at their house.
Their brother Jarrod Burall does fieldwork on a neighboring farm and helps his dad with fieldwork.
“He does my spraying, too,” Eric Burall said.
Jarrod’s wife, Becky, and Erin’s husband, Tom, help out when needed. Becky is a nurse, and Tom is a horse farrier.
Tom has learned a lot about the dairy cows and likes to look over sire directories. He asks the neighbors what bulls they are using, Eric Burall said.