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A2B-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, Nouambar 26.1894
Windy-Knoll View Farm: Luck, Love And Holstelns
VERNON ACHENBACH JR.
Lancaster Farming Staff
Co.) From the intense urban
sprawl of the southcentral-eastern
part of the state, head west on the
Pennsylvania turnpike, then go
south on 181, into the lap of the
Appalachian Plateau, and some
Housing developments fade
away from the landscape, gradual
ly thinning, almost disappearing.
It is the western edge of the
banana-shaped Cumberland Val
ley, before it bends further south
across the Mason-Dixon Line into
Maryland. It is an area whose peo
ple live off of and understand
This area of Franklin County is
dominated by the silos, bams, crop
fields and the pastures of family
farms, but these farms are different
from those in the state’s more east
These family farms still have
woodlots, areas along streams and
fencelines that harbor wildlife.
And there are places for young and
old to explore on their own.
It is the locale of James and Nina
Burdette’s 200-acre Windy-Knoll
View Farm and its 67-head regis
tered Holstein milking herd.
The farm is aptly named.
Several miles outside of Mer
cersberg proper, the dairy farm sits
on the face of the knobbed head of
a great, rounded, beached-whale
looking ridge of land that gazes
southwest, straight into the winds
of winter storms as they flow over
the mountains on a northeast
From the manicured front lawn
of the stone farmhouse at Windy-
Knoll, with its grape vines twisted
on a wire trellis, flower beds, shade
trees, and children’s playhouse,
the horizon is shared by a large
open sky and Two Top Mountain,
and its sister formations.
It can get quiet as evening ebbs.
Just to the west, Cove Moun
tain’s long, flat ridge-top draws a
Kyle Burdette gives a hug to Prissy, a daughter of Windy-
Knoll View Ultimate Pala.
The Burdette family stands in the lawn behind their
Windy-Knoll View farmhouse with Windy-Knoll View CC
Pear-ET, a homebred daughter of the family’s well-known
longer and straighter line where
land and sky meet
To the north, not visible from
the farm, is yet another mountain.
The three mountains create the
edges of a “bay” of fertile valley
land an alcove from the broad
swath of the limestone-rich Cum
On winter evenings after milk
ing, while changing back the
swinging cattle gates in the bar
nyard, the Burdettes’ sons
Jason, .16, and Kyle, 12 can
look out to see a fuzzy halo of
muted light coming from the back
side of Two Top mountain.
If there is time, and their chores
are finished and done well, the
brothers may go skiing on the
lighted slopes and meet other
teenagers from the area, from high
school, or the church youth group.
Nina, who raises the calves from
birth, she said she has been treated,
especially this fall, to spectacular
This place in the world is just
beyond the edge of man’s 24-hour,
At night, the heavens can still be
seen, from the ground, not
obscured from view by the glow
ing security blanket of electrical
lights that urban and city people
draw up over themselves.
At Windy-Knoll View Farm,
the stars still shine, and the fall of
darkness is welcomed for its invi
tation to rest and re-energize.
A queen lives at Windy-Knoll
She is Windy-Knoll View Ulti
mate Pala, former supreme champ
ion of the World Dairy Expo, the
Maryland State Fair, the Pennsyl
vania Holstein Championship, etc.
Perhaps history will make more
of her as time passes. Through the
technology of embryo transfer, she
has many daughters. In fact, the
royal bloodlines have been run
ning true, with IS of these princes
ses have been named All-
American Award winning Hosl
teins (perhaps more to come).
Classified by the Holstein Asso
ciation of America as an Excellent,
Pala has brought world attention to
Pala’s image in on the farm sign
that hangs from a tall post, along
the long farm lane, at the edge of
the farmhouse yard.
She is important to the Burdet
tes, but is valued not just for her
stature and productivity and the
commercial attention to her strong
genetic traits for physical charac
ter, but also for her behavior.
According to James, Pala is a
“smart” and gentle cow with an
apparent affinity for people. And,
while the queen tends to be boss of
the herd, the nature of Pala is con
ducive to ease of handling and
And the Burdettes can demons
trate how her offspring seem to
(Turn to Pago A 32)
Ultimate Pala cow. From the left are Nina, Kyle, James and
Juatln. The cow is Justin’s.
Nina Burdette feeds a young heifer calf which may grow
up to be a sixth generation Excellent.
A love of the great American Weat goes along with
horses. James Burdette talks to this young yearling stallion
he bred. He says he wants to breed a good paint.