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Ag Alumni Profile - John Burket '87 DAIRY PROD

Posted: December 15, 2012

John Burket, owner of Burket Falls Farm, does more than milk dairy cows for a living. A 1987 Dairy Production alumnus, Burket travels worldwide to judge dairy cattle.
John Burket, Dairy Production

John Burket, Dairy Production

Career: Owner, Burket Falls Farm


Jena Sigel, Ag Alumni Relations Intern and Animal Sciences major, talked with John Burket ’87 Dairy Production about his passion for the dairy industry. From managing his own dairy farm, to traveling to different countries to judge dairy cattle, Burket is an incredible resource in the agricultural community.

1.    How has being a Penn State and College of Agricultural Sciences alumnus benefited your career?

Being a part of Penn State has opened up a bountiful number of contacts, giving me networking opportunities through many organizations. During my academic work, I valued the resources that were and are still around me. I value that more than education and knowledge, giving me worldwide connections. There is just something about being a Penn State Alum that gives magic and gives you a well-respected edge in the industry.

2.    What has been the most rewarding part of your career?

The most rewarding aspect of my career is breeding cattle. I also value being able to travel nationally and internationally in the dairy business. I am able to give something back, uniquely to the dairy business and the Registered Holstein Association, a common thread that is shared.

3.    What is your favorite Creamery flavor?

Vanilla

4.    What is the best piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

Don’t be afraid to work hard. Don’t let setbacks or failures discourage you. Never forget to be loyal to other people.

5.    What is the best suggestion you can give to a recent graduate beginning the job search?

Use the people that you meet at Penn State as your guide throughout life and to assist you in any way. Be honest to yourself and those that you come in contact with.

“I was the third son out of three and my father wanted at least one of his sons to go to Penn State. So I pleased my father by attending. I was also recruited from a professor, Dr. Larry Muller, starting when I was in seventh grade. He encouraged me to go as well and rolled out the red carpet for me,” explains Burket.

Burket also had the dream of being a dairy cattle judge. In 1986, he started his judging career by competing on the Dairy Judging Team. He has fulfilled that passion and has judged hundreds of shows including an international competition held in Argentina. During his worldwide travels, he enjoys meeting people from different cultures and that he can share a passion for the industry with.

Burket has contributed his knowledge as a past president of the Pennsylvania Holstein Association, a former director of the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association, served as numerous advisory roles in the industry, and is currently on the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Advisory Committee. Currently he contributes time in local 4-H clubs and is the president of Claysburg-Kimmel School Board.

“This industry is one that has good cows, and good people. Together it’s a good combination,” states Burket.

For more information, contact Jena Sigel, Ag Alumni Relations Intern, at  jls6196@psu.edu.