In 1936, Maynard and Helen Hawker began Walnut Ridge Farm, settling in the Middletown Valley of Frederick County, Maryland. Guernsey and Jersey cattle were selected for the farm, later on moving to only Guernseys. The breed was chosen for their ability to produce high-quality milk rich in beta-carotene (golden hue), high components, and easy-going disposition. The Guernsey is naturally intended to have the A2A2 (protein) gene, a natural occurrence in dairy cattle, but producing milk easier to digest.
Hawker sons, Doug and Robert developed the herd genetics by exhibiting cattle at local shows in 1947, most notably The Great Frederick Fair. The show string developed to a state level by the 1980s with the progression of family, and later on to nationals in 1992.
The farm life at Walnut Ridge Farm has been a family endeavor. Daughter Pam and husband, Danny Moser joined management operations on the farm in 2018. As an eighth generation farmer, Pam and her sisters enjoyed growing up on the farm. Danny manages the crops and Pam tends to the cattle, deciding together on important factors.
The ninth and tenth generations are also participating on the farm. Daughter, Amber returned to the farm on a full time basis. Her husband, Travis and two sons Jacob and Daniel assist on the farm. Amber has experience working at a local creamery becoming educated in the art of bottling milk and making ice cream from pasteurized milk. She tends to young stock and is diligently developing the creamery business.
Daughter, Katie is an active LPN but enjoys spending time at the farm assisting with chores and participating in cattle shows. Katie's daughter, Hayliegh also assists her mother at the farm.
The entire family has been actively involved in 4-H and youth programs. Grandmother Helen, and Pam's sisters Debbie and Kitty were inducted into the 4-H All Stars. Helen also played a role in developing the Middletown Homemakers Club, participating into her late 90s. The family are members of the National Guernsey Association, National Jersey Association, National Milking Shorthorn Society, Maryland and Frederick County Farm Bureaus, Maryland 4-H volunteers, and Pleasant View Church of the Brethren.
The farm, located in the Middletown Valley, consists of 181 acres in the Frederick County Land Preservation Program. An additional 150 acres is rented for farm use to grow all of the feed needed for livestock. We participate in cover crops to combat erosion, and recycle waste to fertilize our crops and garden to decrease the use of fertilizers in our fields.
For many years, our family has been interested in diversifying our operation. In early 2020, we began selling eggs to the local community as well as selling produce from our small garden.
We are licensed with the state of Maryland for On Farm Storage of Cheese and Butter as well as a Producer Mobile Farmers Market license for dairy products.
LIFETIME RECORD 2,214D 122,160M 7,249F 4,354P
2012 NGS Harrisburg Grand Champion (Aged Cow)
2012 HM All-American (Aged Cow)
2012 Reserve Jr. All-American (Aged Cow)
2012 NGS Madison (Aged Cow)
2012 NJS Madison (Aged Cow)
WALNUT RIDGE RUSS NOPE-R, EX-93
Our cattle are the backbone of our farm!
You can find Walnut Ridge genetics exhibited at various national, state and local shows.
Our herd has also been recognized for many production awards. We were also home to eight of the top 40 Component Queens in 2014.
The Walnut Ridge herd is noted for our Guernseys and Jerseys, but is also home to Brown Swiss, Milking Shorthorns, and a few Holsteins, five of the seven major dairy cattle breeds.
WALNUT RIDGE MAGIC CHER, EX-92
LIFETIME RECORD 321,870M 16,599F 10,924P
Cher reached ground breaking records for achievement in top lifetime milk, fat and protein. Her production relevance maintained this title for nine consecutive years within the Guernsey breed.
Her record still holds the title even today.
Walnut Ridge Mentor Sophia, developed a record of 2-03 29,660M 1,691F 1,036P, a class-leading record for fat. Sophia was honored as the Honorable Mention All-American Senior Two-Year-Old in 2014. She also stood second to Jazzy as a heifer at the All-American Dairy Show, Harrisburg, Pa.
WALNUT RIDGE MENTOR SOPHIA
Our Jerseys are the nation's 2020 leading herd for fat production (actual and M.E.) with a fat test of 6.1%. Eight members of our herd made records over 1,200F; seven of them appraised Excellent.
Te Faw Kits Vera, EX91, made 21,870M, 1,683F, and 830P at 7-9 and PHF V.B. Clementine, EX91, made 23,980M, 1,871F, and 949P at 4-10.
Over the years, the farm has evolved genetically and in business.