2019 National Western Show Honoree
Dr. Les Mathers III graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Finance, as well as from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine with an M.D. He then completed his residency in Family Medicine at the university of Illinois as the Chief Resident. He taught and directed a family medicine residency program in Texas before returning to Illinois to start his full-time medical practice in Peoria. He was the fourth generation in his family to graduate from the University of Illinois. Over the years, he has served in multiple leadership roles in medicine, finance and agriculture. He is still active in healthcare education as he teaches and gives presentations to students all over the country.
Leveldale started by Les’s great great grandfather, in 1852. The name Leveldale came from the level ground where the farm began. Leveldale was known for having the “ideal Shorthorn breed” image in the 20s, 30s and 40s.
Les and his sister Laura own Leveldale Shorthorns in Mason City, IL. His family includes a son, Tom and his wife Kristin (they weren’t able to make it today), and daughters, Katie and husband Paul Velting (in attendance) and Lindsay Mathers, whose daughter, Mary Ainsleigh Mathers, stayed at home. Laura and her husband John Coniff also raise cattle at their home in New Mexico.
The operation includes corn, soybeans and specialty crop production; seedstock genetics, including Shorthorn and Durham Red; and antibiotic and hormone free, specialty custom beef. In breeding seedstock, Leveldale Farms has been dedicated to breeding highly fertile, easy calving, rapid growth cattle on moderate nutrition and low maintenance. Their goal is to breed, raise and sell cattle with traits which are functional in both the purebred and commercial industries and are attractive enough to adapt to the show ring. Over the years, Leveldale Farms has been termed the “Headquarters for Herd Bulls.” The list of prominent sires used in the past and presently have sired many national champions including many of the animals shown in the pen show at Denver.
Mathers is a lifetime Shorthorn breeder and was the president of the Illinois Junior Shorthorn Association in 1965. He has been a junior and open exhibitor at the Illinois State Fair for many decades. His love of showing cattle spans over 50 years as he has exhibited at regional and national shows. As an active member of the Illinois Shorthorn Association, he has served on various committees and led numerous activities. In addition, Les has served on almost all of the ASA committees. Les is the third generation in his family to receive the prestigious Builder of the Breed award in 2007 and the third generation to serve on the American Shorthorn Association Board of Directors, including a term as ASA President. Currently, he serves as a Director of the ASA Shorthorn Foundation Board. He has also been recognized as the Illinois Beef Association Seedstock Producer of the Year.
Congratulations to Dr. Les Mathers III on being selected as the 2019 National Western Stock Show honoree.
2018 American Royal Livestock Show
Studer Shorthorns is a family operation built on generations of hard work, faith and love that has made a foundation for the future generations. Dale Studer’s grandfather, Ben, registered his first Shorthorn cattle in 1916 and their family has had Shorthorns since.
In 1960, at only seven years old, Dale, the third generation of Studer Shorthorns, began following his father, Nate, around the barn to help him bring in the nurse cows. By 1965, Dale began going with Ben to state fairs and national shows.
Dale bought his first heifer in 1968 from Bert Hanson and since then it has always been Shorthorns to him. Dale’s love continued to grow for Shorthorns. He was able to learn from his Father, Grandfather, brother Mike and brother Rich first-hand what it meant to have a love for the Shorthorn breed.
Dale and Anita got married in 1980 and started their family with Nathan and Kaisha while they lived in their first home. Farming was hard in the early 80s and by 1985 they moved to Hamilton, Texas, to work at Riverside Farms. Dale’s brothers remained in Wesley and were able to keep a few Shorthorns with them.
Dale and Anita stayed in Texas for six years and had three kids born there, Ashley, Austin and Sarah. They moved to Creston, Iowa, in 1991, where they still remain. The kids, Nathan, Kaisha, Ashley, Austin and Sarah, got involved in 4-H and started showing. Nathan bought his first two show heifers from Jordan Acres when he started showing in 1993.
The Studer Family hasn’t missed an Iowa State Fair since 1993 when Nathan started showing. This tradition still remains today and they continue taking cattle to the fair.
As the Studer herd grew in numbers and quality in the early 2000s they joined in their first production sale with Genetics Online in Eastern Iowa. Soon after they joined with the Loudon family in the Generations of Excellence sale located closer to home.
In 2005, Studer’s expanded their marketing of quality bulls to seedstock and commercial producers. They brought in genetics from Canada, to provide something different to the herd. Bringing genetic changes in 2005 was one of the biggest changes at Studer.
In 2010, they moved to a new sale site on the home farm. The name Family Legacies was born as they tried to decide what type of name was fitting for Studer Shorthorns. The Studer’s celebrated 100 years in the Shorthorn business in 2016.
In the Fall of 2014, the Studer guys began discussing how they could get their bulls presented to a broader audience, which brought their first online bull sale in February 2015.
Studer Shorthorns currently has more than 150 Purebred Shorthorn cows with 800 acres of pasture. They have mostly winter and early spring calves from January to April.
Family is a big part of Studer Shorthorns and as Dale and Anita’s children have gotten older their family continues to expand. Their children are always quick to step-up and help at shows and sales.
Nate and his son Brock are active in the day to day operation at Studer Shorthorns.
Ashley, Chance, Kyzer, Landry and Krosby make their home in Wiota, Iowa and have a show cattle and show pig operation. They continue the tradition of Studer Shorthorns with cows in their own herd. They have an annual Fall Sale each September.
Kaisha, Chad, Drew, Cayson, Camydyn and Caylor live in Des Moines, Iowa and stay active with traveling and attending sporting events with their kids.
Austin and Nicki currently live in Ankeny, Iowa and Austin works for Dow/DuPont.
Sarah is the youngest and lives in Seasboro, Iowa, with her daughter Finley and is a Labor and Delivery Nurse at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Austin and Sarah continue to maintain cows of their own in the main cowherd.
The fifth generation of kids (Kyzer, Brock, Cayson and Landry) are starting to be active on the farm and will continue to carry on the legacy of Studer Shorthorns.
While the Studer family hasn’t been as active in showing, they still do attend shows, including the Minnesota State Fair where they were named Champion Female this year. The Minnesota State Fair was Ben’s favorite show to attend. As the grandkids get older, you can expect to see them showing more often at junior shows!
Studer Shorthorns have received many recognitions over the years, including being named Builder of the Breed twice. Once in 1969 with grandfather, Ben and again in 2000 with the Dale Studer Family. They have also been honored as Iowa Seedstock Producer of the year in 2010 and Iowa Royal honored breeder in 2001. They are honored to receive this recognition and be named as the American Royal Livestock Show Honoree.
2018 North American International Show Honoree
In 1952, CF Martin purchased his first Shorthorn heifer and her heifer calf for only $110. From this beginning, CF Martin built Martindell Farms, LLC., into one of the largest Shorthorn herds in the United States with more than 300 head on the farm today.
CF Martin married Martha Burd on January 10, 1962, and they had two sons, Franklin and Jason. They have two granddaughters, Kacie and Kayla, as well as a great grandson, Drew Williams. They also have two step-grandchildren, Tristan and Austin Martin. Their family makes up Martindell Farms, in Hardyville, Kentucky.
CF has dedicated his life to being a farmer, it is the only job he has ever had, farming over 300 acres. He started on his own and now with his family continues as a farmer and cattle breeder, raising registered Shorthorns. Although, they don’t raise crops anymore, they pride themselves on raising good quality hay for their Shorthorns. His farming always played an important role in raising cattle because he believes it takes good nutrition and good genetics to have good cattle.
Martindell Farms, LLC., has exhibited cattle for many years including the North American International Livestock Exposition, Kentucky State Fair, Tennessee State Fair, Alabama State Fair, West Virginia State Fair, North Carolina State Fair, South Carolina State Fair, Georgia National, Kentucky Beef Expo and Tennessee Beef Expo. Through their years of showing, they have 19 Grand Champion banners from the Kentucky State Fair, as well as many banners from the many other fairs they attended. They also have exhibited many division champions from NAILE. In 1983, they owned half interest in the Grand Champion Bull at NAILE, Honeydew Big Red, and later sold him in Denver. They consign cattle each year to Kentucky Beef Expo and Tennessee Beef Expo. Martindell Farms, had a production sale in 2005 and their top selling female was featured on the May/June cover of Shorthorn Country.
CF has been very active in the beef industry and his community. He was one of the founders of Hart County Cattlemen in the 90s and they have over 200 members each year. He has been on the fair board and chairman of the beef cattle show for over 40 years. CF has served on the board of Farmers Rural Electric, a seven county wide cooperative, for more than 20 years. He has held many offices on the board including chairman, vice-chairman and secretary. Since 1971, when Franklin was old enough to be a 4-H member, CF and Martha have really enjoyed supporting the local 4-H clubs. CF has also been on the advisory board for Farm Credit for many years.
Over the years of farming and raising cattle, Martindell Farms, has registered more than 3,500 head of Shorthorns and sold cattle to 27 states and Canada. He had been awarded the Century Club membership for many years.
CF said he didn’t do this all by himself, he had two great sons and a wonderful wife who love Shorthorns. They loved all the time spent showing and CF traveled many miles to find genetics to improve the herd. He believes it takes a great family to be successful. CF has now turned the farm over to Franklin and Jason to continue the tradition.
CF has received many awards over his many years of involvement in the industry. He was recognized as the builder of the breed in 1998. He was inducted in the Kentucky Cattleman Hall of Fame in 2014 and is honored to be recognized as the North American International Livestock Exposition, Jack C Ragsdale National Shorthorn Show Honoree.