Hard work pays off for Ruth & Palmyra

This year’s Ayrshire Grand Champion at World Dairy Expo wouldn’t have had the success she did if it weren’t for family. Palmyra Berkely P Ruth-ET, bred and owned by the Shank & Creek families of Palmyra Farm LLC, MD. To learn more about Ruth’s story, we visited with Mary Creek.

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1. As Ruth is no stranger to the show ring, what other accomplishments has she garnered over the years?

  • Nom All-American Fall Calf 2014
  • Nom All-American Fall Yearling 2015
  • 1st Fall Yearling & Junior Champion, Maryland State Fair 2015
  • 2nd Mid-Atlantic National 2015 (calved the week after Expo)
  • 1st Senior 2 year old, BU, BO, Intermediate & HM Grand Champion, International Ayr Show 2016 (2nd calf)
  • Unanimous All-American Senior 2 year old 2016
  • Reserve World Ayrshire Photo Contest 2016
  • 1st Senior 3 year old, BU, BO, Intermediate & Grand Champion, International Ayrshire Show 2017 (3rd calf)

3. What is Ruth’s personality like at home?

Many will be surprised she is with the rest of the herd (180 milking in free-stalls) but that is how she likes it. She is trouble-free, a little dominant, determined, and self sufficient and she takes good care of herself. Not to worry, she is constantly watched and we all know exactly where she is and what she is doing.

4. How confident were you that Ruth would be competitive at this year’s World Dairy Expo?

We were very hopeful, especially after her performance last year but we were extremely cautious. We had a check list of milestones we knew we had meet. Get her pregnant, keep her producing at a high level to keep her genetic performance levels high, IVF her twice for marketing, dry period without too much weight. Calve her in with no complications, get her to milk the weight off but not too quickly, transition her to a show ration, get her to Expo…. We took little relaxing breaths after meeting each stage until she made it to Expo.

5. Explain the feeling of winning Grand Champion on the colored shavings.

Explaining is difficult. We work very hard together as a family and it has been a long time since we have had Champion at Expo – before the younger generation was born – so it was very emotional. There was a lot of relief…”she made it…..she really did it” ! We were so very happy! We called home immediately! Most all of us cried, even the ones at home.

6. Anyone you’d like to thank that helped with the success that Ruth has seen through the years?

We would first like to recognize those family members that work 365 days at the farm. Ralph Shank, Mary Creek, Mark Creek and Ernie Mose. Evan is a big part of the home team too when he is not on the road. The rest of the family pitches in on weekends and other times as we need them. It takes all of us working together.

Then there is a long list that has worked with us for many years to help get Palmyra animals to the ring at Expo and Harrisburg. Family that were there: Evan Creek (in charge) and Sarah Campbell, Michael and Elizabeth Creek, Mark and Samantha Creek, Mike Creek. Michael Booth (Ireland) has been with us for 8 years. Andrew and Jenna Lenhart, Scott DeBaugh, Jack Ross. Tyler, Justin and Westin Smith and our good friends Julie DeLavergne and Larry Schirm. And many others that sent best wishes and positive thoughts.

7. What offspring do you have out of Ruth? 

  • 1st calf: 10/15 daughter by 7 Oaks Burdette Alaska (#3 Genetic Value Ayrshire Heifer) calved August 2017 & her son by Power is going to Select Sires
  • 2nd calf: 8/16 daughter by Anmar Peter Power
  • 3rd calf: 8/17 son by Anmar Peter Power “Remsberg” going to St Jacobs ABC
  • Pregnancies by Predator due December and March