This Week’s Headlines
Hamilton named ‘Builder of the Breed’
By CARYL VELISEK
LISBON, Md. (July 7, 2015) — Maryland Shorthorn breeder L. Martin Hamilton has been awarded the “Builder Of The Breed” honors by the American Shorthorn Association.
The news was announced at the 29th Eastern Regional Shorthorn Show, which was held at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Md., on June 19-20.
Hamilton is the sixth Maryland Shorthorn breeder to be recognized in this fashion.
Other Maryland breeders honored are H.H. Allen of HiHo Farm, in 1953, W.W. Rapley of Avenel Farm in 1955, H.F. “Buddy” Eyler of Leneva Acres in 1985, Dr. Wayne Neely in 1992, and Dr. Raymond Ediger of Greenspring Farm in 2011.
Hamilton purchased his first Shorthorn in the early 1980s, from Leneva Acres and, although the acreage limitations of his Windcrest Farm just outside the small town of Lisbon, Md., in Howard County, have forced the herd to remain small, his influence on other Maryland cattle breeders in the eastern states, especially the junior members, has been nothing short of phenomenal, according to fellow cattlemen.
He continues to breed and add quality to his herd with additions from other well known Shorthorn herds like Woodside Farm, Hoyt’s, Joe Woods, Rexlaine Farms, Bruce Wallace, the Moore Family, and Chuck Johnson, among others.
Hamilton and his wife, Joanne, celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary in April.
An Extension educator for a number of years, Joanne is now retired but as an enthusiastic supporter of agriculture and the Shorthorn breed, she remained active in many facets of their cattle enterprise until slowed by some serious health issues.
The Hamiltons have a daughter, Rebecca, who is a 2011 graduate of Texas A&M University and is still very active in the cattle business as are her parents.
She had a very productive 10-year career in 4- H with her shorthorn cattle and her other livestock and food projects.
In 2006, she was named Miss Howard County Farm Bureau and then went on to become Miss Maryland Agriculture.
Rebecca was also a member of Maryland’s first place livestock judging team at the 2006 North American International Livestock Exposition and was invited to participate in the Royal Highland Stock Judging Contest in Edinburgh, Scotland.
She also has served as Maryland Shorthorn Ambassador for several years.
She completed her master’s degree at Texas A&M in 2014 and is an academic advisor at the university’s College of Ag Food and Nutrition Department.
According to those who know him and have worked with him, one of Hamilton’s greatest assets has been his work with the youth.
He worked as a 4-H Livestock Extension agent in Howard County, Md., for more than 30 years and continues his involvement with young people in his county and in the state of Maryland, offering advice and assistance whenever needed.
He is currently treasurer of the Maryland Shorthorn Association and has previously held the office of president and secretary of that association, he is executive secretary of the Maryland Agricultural Fair Board, secretary/office manager of the Howard County Fair, and a Life Member of the National Association of 4-H Agents and of the Maryland Association of 4-H Agents, and serves on the Maryland Animal Science 4-H Curriculum Committee.
He is also president of the Howard County 4-H All Stars.
He is an active member of the Poplar Springs United Methodist Church, has been involved with the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival as chairman of the Feeder Lamb Show & Sale, and organized the Livestock Judging Contest, and he has organized a major judging clinic.
He has served as the Maryland Shorthorn Association’s awards committee chairman for several years and the popular and unique hand painted awards the association gives at their shows and events are a result of what is known as “Martin’s brainstorm” as he continues to search antique shops, public sales and private estates for objects to be painted by local artists and awarded at the Shorthorn shows.
Several of his fellow cattle breeders and friends offered the following: “Martin is a wonderful friend. He’s kind, thoughtful, and a generous man who is always willing to lend a hand to a neighbor, friend, or even a stranger.”