Benjamin Philip Martin
Philip Martin’s farm is located just outside Enterprise, Alabama, about 200 yards from the homeplace where he was born and reared as one of 11 children. Martin’s father started the farm as a dairy with fewer than 15 cows, and Martin took over day-to-day operations after graduating from the University of Tennessee in 1956. The family’s ventures grew to include peanut and corn production as Martin’s son, Edwin, returned from Virginia Tech in 1982 and became a partner in the operation.
Martin is interested in what is best for all of agriculture, not just his own farming interests. As a member of numerous boards and associations, he gained a broad understanding of agriculture that expands beyond the farm to include the economic impact of agriculture on the state.
He served as vice president and then president of the American Dairy Association of Alabama and was president of the Coffee County Farmers Federation from 1967 to 1998. Since the early 1970s, he has been a member of Federal Land Bank’s Board of Directors, representing south Alabama. For many years, Martin worked with and coached several Coffee County FFA Dairy Judging Teams and in 1972 won the state competition. He and his family hosted interns and exchange students as well as international delegations of farmers and agricultural leaders through the years and were long-time participants in Farm-City Week activities, providing animals for petting zoos year after year.
Martin is a seven-time recipient of the Alabama Master Dairyman Award, an honor recognizing the state’s top 10 percent of Dairy Heard Improvement Association herds based on milk production within the Holstein breed. In 2007, Martin’s row-crop and dairy farm was named the Coffee County Farm of Distinction in recognition of the family’s extensive farming and dairy operation. In addition, the Martins are known for producing high-yield corn, peanut and hay crops.
A dedicated and loving husband, father and grandfather, Martin maintains that close family ties have always been his way of life.
He and his wife, Charlene, have two children, Edwin and Anne Marie, and four grandchildren: Stephen, Elizabeth, Benjamin, and Kyle.