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Line of cows feeding silage at the barn Photo courtesy of Maryland Dairy Shrine
MARYLAND DAIRY’S BEST: The Maryland Dairy Shrine recently inducted three new members into its prestigious group.

Maryland Dairy Shrine inducts 2019 honorees

Eddie Burdette and Martha and Carl Bender are this year’s inductees.

A noted showman and former president of the Maryland Holstein Association were recently announced as the 2019 inductees of the Maryland Dairy Shrine.

The Shrine also announced the winners of its 2019 scholarships.

Eddie Burdette, and Martha and Carl Bender are this year’s Guests of Honor. Burdette, who died in 2017, is posthumously inducted. The Benders will be officially inducted during the 2019 Maryland Holstein Futurity Show at Maryland State Fair.

Eddie Burdette, Flag Valley Farm

Eddie Burdette
Burdette was born in 1943 in Browningsville on his family's dairy farm, Flag Valley Farm. In 1961 he graduated from Damascus High School as class president.

In 1960, as a 4-H member, he was awarded a trophy for showmanship at the Montgomery County Fair. In 1961, he won the National Cow Judging Contest in Iowa and then traveled to England as a member of the U.S. National Judging Team that competed in the Royal Show at Newcastle.

After graduating high school, Burdette’s father told him that he needed to stay on the farm, and he did.

In 1967, the Damascus Jaycees presented Eddie Burdette with the Outstanding Young Farmer Award. In 1974, the Cooperative Extension Service awarded Burdette the 4-H Award of the Gold Clover in recognition of 10 years of 4-H club leadership. 

In 1975, at the Hoard's Dairyman Cow Judging Contest in Fort Atkinson, Wis., Burdette was awarded second prize. He competed against 120,406 contestants from 49 states and 19 countries.

Burdette exhibited at the Montgomery County Fair for over 40 years and he received a plaque from the fair recognizing his feat.

Flag Valley Farm had the largest single barn in the county, holding 107 cows. Burdette had the highest herd average per cow for daily milk production for all herds in the county. His herd average for butterfat was over 600 pounds when the average was 450 pounds.

In 1967, Burdette, in partnership with his father, moved their 80-cow operation to the Cavanaugh Farm in Etchison. His father died that same year and Burdette independently operated the dairy and farmed 500 acres.

Unable to get a long-term lease, he sold his herd in 1994. From then on, he worked with partners to develop prized show Jerseys. From 2004 until his death in 2017, he was a major supporter of the King Barn Dairy Mooseum, where he sculptured many full-size dairy cows and identified many past dairy farmers.

Martha and Carl Bender   
In 1964, Martha and Carl Bender purchased their farm in Accident. The Benders continued farming until selling the farm to their son, Kenton, in January 2018.  

Carl Bender served as past president of the Maryland Holstein Association as well as serving multiple terms as a board member. He was also a director of the Garrett County Farm Bureau, a Select Sires board member, and he served on the Garrett County Land Preservation board.  

The Benders have received numerous awards over the years, including Master Farmer in 1986, Outstanding Senior Breeder in 1989, Progressive Breeder Registry Award for Achievement through an improved breeding program, and the Maryland Holstein Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions to the Maryland Dairy Industry in 2005.

The farm received numerous premier breeder and exhibitor awards at county shows and received first place 5-year-old cow in 1988 at the Eastern National Holstein Show. 

Carl Bender is known for his constant improvement of the land, for breeding high-quality dairy cattle including numerous Excellent cows, and for his good working relationship with individuals in the Holstein industry. 

The Benders are involved in many civic and community activities, such as supporting the Garrett Community College Agricultural Management Program, the Garrett County Soil Conservation District, the tax appeal board and the Goodwill Retirement Home board, as well as Sunday school superintendent and a Sunday school teacher at Cherry Glade Mennonite Church. 

Martha and Carl Bender, Master Farmer in 1986, have received numerous awardsMASTER FARMERS: Martha and Carl Bender purchased their farm in Accident in 1964. The Benders have received numerous awards over the years, including Master Farmer in 1986, Outstanding Senior Breeder in 1989, Progressive Breeder Registry Award for Achievement through an improved breeding program, and the Maryland Holstein Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions to the Maryland Dairy Industry in 2005.

The Benders have five children: Lillian Beitzel of Bittinger; Richard, Kenton and Dennis Bender of Accident; and Janelle Ganson of Rock Hill, S.C.

Scholarship winners
Three students were awarded the 2019 Maryland Dairy Shrine Scholarship.

Todd Allen of Middletown is attending Virginia Tech majoring in dairy science with a minor in agribusiness management, and agricultural and applied economics. He would like to become a dairy nutrition consultant or Holstein classifier after graduating college.

Shelby Iager of Frederick is attending Virginia Tech majoring in agribusiness and dairy science.

She is interested in working for USDA or a company like Farm Credit or state government doing ag business development and planning.

Lindsay Smith of Colora is attending Delaware Valley University and Goldey Beacom College majoring in animal science and agribusiness.

After graduation she hopes to help farmers improve their facilities and feeding methods. Her dream is becoming an animal nutritionist. 

Catherine Savage, 20, of Dickerson, is the winner of the $500 Mid-Maryland Dairy Vet Scholarship. The award is given to dairy youth majoring in dairy science, animal science or pre-veterinary medicine.

She hopes to have a career in the dairy industry. She’d like to work on a dairy farm, in genetics or possibly in Jersey marketing.

Source: Maryland Dairy Shrine, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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