Maryland Dairy Shrine inducts Frank Walbert and Myron Wilhide
FREDERICK, Md. -- The Maryland Dairy Shrine honored two individuals at their annual banquet, held here on Saturday, February 23, in the Null Building at the Frederick Fairgrounds. The large crowd in attendance applauded newly inducted honorees Frank Walbert of Palm Bay, Florida, and Myron Wilhide of Detour, Md.
Frank was one of four boys born to George and Elizabeth Walbert. Born and raised in Queen Anne’s County, Frank joined 4-H and attended meetings with his brothers. He showed cattle, pigs and vegetables at the local fair and won many honors. Later, he excelled in dairy cattle judging and public speaking. He won the Maryland State Dairy Judging Contest in 1955, going on to the national contest where the emerged as champions, which earned them the right to compete in the international contest in England where the team also placed first.
Frank spent most of his life with his main interests: his family, dairy cattle and crop production. He met his future wife, Paige Bishop, in 1952 and they farmed for themselves until 1964, when he was given the opportunity to manage the University of Maryland Agronomy, Dairy and Forage Research Farm in Howard County. The couple lived there for 29 years and Frank made many contributions to the dairy industry during that time. No-till farming and embryo transfers were just two of the technologies he helped pioneer. Meanwhile, he also improved the University’s herd of Holsteins and received the Progressive Breeders Award and the Genetic Merit Award.
All along, Frank remained interested in 4-H and served as a leader of several 4-H clubs. He was proud to revive the Howard County Dairy Club, which won multiple Hoard’s Dairyman dairy cattle judging contests, as did his own family. Further, he coached the Howard County Dairy Cattle Judging Team and Maryland Dairy Bowl Teams.
In 1993 Frank and Paige moved back to Centreville in Queen Anne’s County after 30 years at the University. Returning to Centreville gave him the chance to work at the Wye Research and Education Center for 17 more years with the beef program. He and Paige retired and moved to Florida in 2010 to be near their son Steve. Other children are Anne, John and Julie.
• Myron Wilhide, was born in 1940 and raised on the farm that has been in the family since 1854. He had four brothers and for a time they all lived on neighboring farms. They shared equipment and helped each other with field work.
Myron is a member of the Maryland Dairy Industry Association, National and Maryland Dairy Shrine, Farm Bureau and a past member of the Carroll County Holstein Association. He served two terms and was president of the Carroll County Extension Advisory Board and received the Service to Agriculture Award from the Maryland Association of Agricultural Agents.
Further, he was active in the county and state Farm Bureau Young Farmers Association, serving as chairman, president of Carroll County Farm Bureau, chairman of the State Farm Bureau Dairy Committee for several years was on the National Farm Bureau Dairy Advisory Committee and elected director of Maryland Cooperative Milk Producers in 1976.
He worked in Annapolis, along with other dairy farmers and farm organizations, for two legislative terms trying to get a milk commission in Maryland. The commission didn’t materialize, but Maryland did get a State Dairy Advisory Board that includes producers, cooperatives, processors, consumers and the Maryland Department of Agriculture. They meet three or four times a year and they make a yearly report to the governor on dairy issues.
Myron played a leading role in establishing the Maryland Dairy Industry Association and served as the first president and continues to be involved in the organization.
Myron is a member of Keysville Lutheran Church, where he held several leadership positions. Now retired, he is pursuing his hobby of setting up an O gauge railroad layout.
Myron and his wife, Joyce, have two daughters, Denise and Renee.