Trio of Tuscarawas County dairies


RAGERSVILLE, Ohio — A trio of Tuscarawas County milk producers joined the state’s elite production ranks this year.

Burky Farm, Putt Dairy Farms and Bill Deetz each earned “elite” status with production averages in the top 5 percent of the state Dairy Herd Improvement Association herds on test. The milk producers and others were honored Feb. 28 during the Tuscarawas County annual dairy banquet in Ragersville.

Elite herds

Gary and Chad Burky, whose 366-cow herd leads the county’s production list, achieved elite status in all three components — milk, butterfat and protein — with a herd average of 30,325 pounds of milk, 1,068 pounds of fat and 860 pounds of protein, milking three times a day.

The Burkys also had the cow with the county’s highest lifetime production, official test. Their cow No. 1582 produced 244,684 pounds of milk, 8,835 pounds of fat and 7,365 pounds of protein over six lactations.

Putt Dairy Farms earned elite herd status in both milk and protein production, with herd averages of 27,573 pounds milk, 981 pounds of fat and 851 pounds of protein. The farm is milking approximately 296 head of Holsteins three times a day, and is the second highest-producing herd in the county.

Bill Deetz also earned elite status for his herd’s milk production, which is not available for publication.

Other top producers

Rounding out the top five of the county’s production ranks of official herds on test are:

Specht Farm, averaging 26,305 pounds milk, 980 pounds fat and 793 pounds protein on 272 head;

Lemuel Farms, 25,349 pounds of milk, 717 pounds fat and 734 pounds protein on 87 head;

James Rowe, 23,973 pounds of milk, 898 pounds fat and 732 pounds protein on 182 cows.

The county average for all official herds was 24,314 pounds of milk, 865 pounds of fat and 723 pounds of protein.

Other awards

Lemuel Farms was recognized as the most improved herd on official test, with an increase of 2,422 pounds of milk. Howard Cronebaugh and Norman D. Miller were the most improved herds, unofficial test, with milk production increases of 2,476 and 2,414 pounds, respectively.

From the herds on unofficial test, Ridenour Farm had the high lifetime individual cow, No. 36, with production of 234,687 pounds of milk, 11,716 pounds fat and 8,035 pounds protein over 11 lactations.

Jim Rowe and Yoder Dairy were recognized as the herds with the lowest somatic cell count. Rowe’s herd, on official test, had a count of 146,000; the Yoder herd, not on official test, 131,000.

Ray Mutti was recognized as high herd in milk, fat and protein production, not on official test, with 100 or fewer cows. His herd averages are 22,491 pounds milk, 952 pounds fat and 707 pounds protein. Jim Loveday received honors as the high herd in milk and protein production, among unofficial test herds with more than 100 cows. His herd average is 26,610 pounds milk, 863 pounds fat and 761 pounds protein.

Cliff Finton’s herd of 83 head was the top herd in fat production, among herds on test with under 100 head. His herd averaged 850 pounds of butterfat. Dale Putt’s herd of 347 head was the high fat herd, unofficial test, for 100+ cows, with an average of 952 pounds of fat.


Karen Brown, daughter of Marvin and Deborah Brown, was crowned senior dairy princess during the banquet. A nine-year 4-H club member, she has shown rabbits and cows. The Tusky Valley High School student is also active on her home farm.

Also competing for the title were Amie Zumbach and Renee Harding.

Clarissa Mutti, daughter of Kevin and Sheila Mutti, won the junior dairy princess title. A freshman at New Philadelphia High School, she is also a member of the Milkmakers and Town & Country 4-H clubs and has shown cows and heifers for seven years.

Sue Feller and Ellie Zumbach were also contestants for the junior dairy princess crown.

Featured speaker during the banquet was Lou McFadden of Winesburg, Ohio, a retired dairy field rep who turned his love of the industry into a milk bottle collection hobby. He also authored Ohio’s Dairies , a hard-cover book of the history of Ohio’s more than 10,000 dairies.

(Editor Susan Crowell can be reached at 800-837-3419 or at


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