Dairy Farmer from Canal Fulton, Ohio
Frank is a fifth generation dairy farmer and current president of Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. He works alongside his three uncles and several cousins at Clardale Farms, which is named for their grandparents, Dale and Clara Rohr. Together the family cares for 690 dairy cows and farms 900 acres of cropland.
How do you work with your neighbors?
Frank: We farm in a very populated area, so everything we do here, we make sure we do it as a community with our neighbors in mind. We make our best efforts to work around holidays and weekends when applying manure or rotating crops so we can be considerate of our neighbors. We also offer farm tours regularly so that neighbors can visit and learn about what happens on the farm and ask questions about what we do.
HEAR FROM THE FARMER
Hear Frank Burkett describe how he manages manure to prevent runoff and protect waterways and streams.
How do you balance your farm work with your leadership role off the farm?
Frank: Historically farmers have always been very involved in their communities and making time to be involved is very important to me. I find it very satisfying to work with volunteers and leaders promoting farming and agriculture and working with Ohio Farm Bureau allows me to do that. I do have an order I try to stick to — God, family, farm and then my other activities, but Mother Nature also becomes a factor and I have to plan around her as well.
Why do your calves have buttons in their ears?
Frank: Each calf has an identification tag in their ear that has a radio frequency. When the calf goes to the feeder, the ID tag will tell the computer which calf it is and then the machine will provide a small amount of feed if it’s time for her to eat. Each calf will consume two half-gallon bottles per day.
What are some ways that you keep your cows comfortable?
Frank: Our cows are housed in a free-stall barn that gives the herd more room to move. Our barns are naturally ventilated. We use curtains to make sure there’s a windbreak in the wintertime and fans and water soakers are used to keep cows cool in the summertime. Additionally, our farm works with a veterinarian that performs regular herd checks to ensure the cows are healthy.