County News

Washington County Announces 2019-2020 Farm of the Year

October 29, 2019

HAGERSTOWN, MD (October 29, 2019) – The Washington County Department of Business Development is pleased to announce Palmyra Farm as recipient of the 2019-2020 Washington County Farm of the Year. This marks the ninth year Washington County has recognized a Farm of the Year. The winning farm showcases excellence in agriculture and promotes a greater understanding of the challenges faced by today’s farmers. Production, conservation, preservation, community involvement, and dedication to farming and agriculture is the gold standard for this award.

Palmyra Farm is a 300-acre dairy farm owned and operated by the Shank and Creek Families. Brother and sister Ralph Shank and Mary Creek have dedicated their lives to producing high-quality Aryshire and Holstein Cattle. Palmyra Farm has represented Washington County at the state, regional and national level attending and competing with their award-winning cows. Recently, at the 2019 World Dairy Expo, Ralph and Mary were honored as “Distinguished Breeders: by the National Dairy Shrine placing this Brother Sister Team and Palmyra Farm into the National Dairy Hall of Fame. Mary Creek is a past recipient of the Dairy Woman of the Year Award (2012) and Palmyra Farm is recognized as a Master Breeder by the National Aryshire Association.(2011) Palmyra Farm is home to two time reigning World Champion Ayrshire “Ruth” and is the breeder of the six time consecutive premier Bull of the World Dairy Expo “Burdette”.  Additionally, Palmyra Farm has been producing Farm to Table Cheese, a business that started over 10 years ago. In 2019 alone, approximately 2 million pounds of milk have been produced at Palmyra with a portion being turned into cheese.

Washington County Business Agricultural Specialist, Leslie Hart, said, “Palmyra Farm and the Shank and Creek families exemplify leadership qualities in the Dairy Industry and as a premier breeder of Aryshire cattle. Palmyra Farm dedication to the community is reflected in their tireless support of the agricultural youth in this community through training, coaching, mentoring and animal husbandry standards.”

For additional information, please contact Washington County's Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380.