Each Fall, The Frederick County Office of Economic Development’s Agricultural Business Council, in conjunction with the Great Frederick Fair and the Ag Education Public Relations Committee recognizes a Frederick County family for their outstanding achievements in agriculture. This year’s Farm Family of the Year is the Lambert Family.
2020 Farm Family of the Year: Lambert Farms Inc. – The Lambert Family
Located just outside of Frederick, dairy operation Lambert Farms is run by brothers Charlie and Donnie Lambert and their families. The farmland spans more than 1,200 acres throughout Frederick County. Farming runs in in the blood of the Lambert family, as they are 3rd generation farmers. The brothers grew up on their Grandparents’ farm and later helped with their parents’ operation.
Paul and Esther Lambert passed their passion for the dairy industry down through the family. Paul’s parents, Paul W. & Eva Lambert, purchased the farm back in 1946. Paul and Esther eventually took over operations in 1972. In June of 1999, the farm was officially incorporated as Lambert Farms, Inc.
These days, seven family members work full-time at Lambert Farms. The operation milks 270 Holsteins and Jersey cows, and raises another 300 heifers. The family also grows barley, triticale, corn, soybean and mixed hay on their land, with the majority of the crops being used for the farm animals. The brothers manage the farm through a true partnership utilizing each person’s skills. Donnie manages the field work while Charlie manages the cows.
The Lambert family works closely with the Frederick & Catoctin Soil Conservation District and the local NRCS office to implement best management practices. In 2017, they installed a new 2.8-million-gallon slurry store with a reception pit to manage their waste. They also utilize new technology to directly inject manure into the fields. This practice saves the farm both time and money. They also participate in the Cover Crop and Manure Transport Program. The Lambert family is no stranger to industry awards, being honored as a Dairy of Distinction in 2020 and named Cooperator of the Year in 2018 and 1995 for their conservation work on the farm.
The family brings their love of animals into the community as well. Donnie and his daughter Jessica began offering carriage rides through downtown Frederick during the holiday season. They continue to offer carriage services for events throughout the year.
This 3rd generation operation is possible because of the family members who have helped on the farm over the years. Donnie and Charlie’s mother Esther is still a critical part of the farm at 83, as she manages the books. Donnie and his wife Terry have four children. Their sons Matt (Marlee) and Brad (Jamie) both work on the farm full-time. Daughter Jessica (Marky) Butler is a large animal veterinarian and daughter Amanda (Jon) Holler is a nurse practioner. Charlie and his wife Pat have two children: son Wesley (Kaylee) works on the farm and daughter Kayte (Cory) Nusbaum is a nurse. Donnie and Charlie’s nephew Evan Lambert is also a Full-Time employee of the farm. The 5th generation can often be found on the farm as well, including Donnie’s 8 grandchildren and Charlie’s 4 grandchildren. They feed calves, mow grass, and help with other duties on the property.