October 22, 2023
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — David Hawkins, Ph.D., East Lansing, Mich., and Mark McClintock, San Angelo, Texas, were inducted to the Hereford Hall of Merit Oct. 21 at the American Hereford Association (AHA) Annual Meeting and Conference in Kansas City, Mo. The Hall of Merit recognizes two inductees each year who have heavily influenced the Hereford breed.
David Hawkins, Ph.D., East Lansing, Mich., is an industry leader. Dr. Hawkins was raised on a farm in southwest Ohio and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from The Ohio State University (OSU). In 1965, he enrolled in a doctorate program at Michigan State University (MSU). Upon graduation, he joined the MSU animal science faculty where he served in many roles during his career.
Dr. Hawkins led the MSU livestock judging team for seven years and served as the coordinator of undergraduate programs in animal science for 21 years. He also served as a professor and advisor. From 1973 until his retirement in 2007, Dr. Hawkins oversaw the MSU Purebred Beef Cattle Center, which maintained Hereford and Angus herds. Under his leadership, the MSU Angus and Hereford programs became recognized as a source of world-renowned cattle. Dr. Hawkins worked to produce elite genetics for the Hereford breed, leading the university to exhibit more than 60 grand or reserve national champion bulls and females.
Dr. Hawkins has been invited to judge most of the major beef cattle breed shows in the United States plus national shows in Australia, Canada and Denmark. He has judged cattle in 36 states, seven national breed shows, six junior national breed shows, and is the only person ever to have twice judged national Angus shows at the North American International Livestock Exposition and National Western Stock Show.
At the university, Dr. Hawkins taught nine courses and, over the years, served as an advisor for almost 2,000 students. He authored or co-authored 42 papers and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals, 81 papers in experiment station reports, 11 Extension publications and 80 articles in other publications.
Additionally, Dr. Hawkins served on the Michigan Hereford Association board of directors and was a founding member of the Michigan Beef Expo, Michigan Purebred Beef Breed Council and Michigan Bull Test Committee.
Dr. Hawkins’ portrait hangs in the Saddle and Sirloin Gallery in Louisville, Ky., and his list of honors and accolades is long, with awards from the American Society of Animal Science, MSU and OSU, among others. He served as superintendent of the National Senior College Judging Contest for 10 years.
He and his wife Kathleen have two daughters, Lisa and Jennifer.
Dr. Hawkins is a friend, teacher, mentor and leader to many, and his impact goes far beyond any showring or classroom.
“Dr. Hawkins has a deep passion for the livestock industry, and in particular Hereford cattle, but perhaps most importantly, his unparalleled desire to help shape and mold the next generation of agricultural leaders is second to none,” writes Cody Lowderman, livestock marketer and auctioneer, in his letter to the selection committee. “His ability to embrace new technology and trends, while still blending the core values and principles known in the agriculture community is a true gift.”
Mark McClintock, San Angelo, Texas, has spent a lifetime working in the Hereford breed, with stints at Bright Bros. Herefords, California; Lone Star Herefords, Texas; and Rocking Chair Ranch, Texas.
McClintock’s roots trace back to a racetrack on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where his father was a horse trainer and jockey. However, from an early age, he knew he preferred bovine over equine. McClintock grew up showing cattle and attended Cal Poly University, where he studied animal science and even cut his long, beloved locks to judge on the livestock judging team. Since then, he has traveled the world to evaluate cattle of every shape, size and color.
After college, McClintock worked for Bright Herefords in California before becoming the herdsman for Lone Star Herefords. While on the road fitting and showing cattle, he met his wife, Teresa, at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), and she joined McClintock at Lone Star. The couple has two sons, Ryan and Mason.
The McClintocks went to west Texas to work for the Rocking Chair Ranch (RCR) in the early ’80s. There, McClintock was tasked with building a herd of elite Hereford cattle. McClintock won Hereford Herdsman of the Year in 1981 and over the next 25 years, built and maintained the RCR Hereford herd. Patience paid off, and RCR raised the grand and reserve champion horned females at the 2000 Junior National Hereford Expo in Tulsa, Okla., and the reserve champion female at the NWSS. In addition to raising elite females, McClintock was an essential part of establishing a market for RCR’s bulls, often selling Hereford sires to Brahman breeders to create the ultimate Southern cross.
After finishing his tenure with Rocking Chair Ranch in 2009, McClintock continued marketing cattle and started a consulting business. From coast to coast, McClintock has assisted Hereford breeders of all sizes with their marketing efforts, while continuing to judge major cattle shows.
Today, McClintock is still a tireless supporter of the breed. He lives and breathes Hereford cattle.
“Mark McClintock truly loves Hereford cattle and the people within this breed,” writes Jason Hoffman, Hoffman Ranch, in his letter to the selection committee. “I couldn’t think of a better person who exemplifies the Hall of Merit qualifications than Mark. He is respected by breeders around the world and has devoted his life to creating the best cattle he can with his natural ability.”
The American Hereford Association, with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the largest U.S. beef breed associations. The not-for-profit organization along with its subsidiaries — Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC, Hereford Publications Inc. (HPI) and American Beef Records Association (ABRA) — provides programs and services for its members and their customers, while promoting the Hereford breed and supporting education, youth and research. For press releases and photos, visit Hereford.org/media.