April 24, 2014
Third generation Fleming farmer committed to career in agriculture
STERLING, CO--Derek Whittington, a member of the Northeastern Junior College Colorado Young Farmer Chapter was recently named winner of the 2014 Outstanding Colorado Young Farmer Agri-Service Award. He received the honor from the recent Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association.
Whittington, 19, was selected for the award, which recognizes a member who is actively employed in agriculture but does not have ownership in an ag-production or agri-business organization. Those Colorado Young Farmer members who have shown leadership, not only in the organization, but in civic, church and community service activities are ideal candidates.
Whittington, who is employed on his parents’ operation at Fleming, CO is a third generation farmer. He is currently enrolled at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling where he is pursuing a degree in production agriculture. He plans to return to the home place and become the third generation to earn a living through the extensive operation.
The Whittington family farm is operated by Derek’s grandfather Darrell, his father Dale and his uncle Drew. This youngest Whittington’s responsibilities have continued to increase with age, experience, knowledge and skills. From mowing lawns as a kid for parents, grandparents and neighbors, he obtained a comfort level with machinery and acquired a health respect for reliability. This has now turned into his ability to oversee the servicing of tractors and combines during the farming season and do preventative maintenance the rest of the time. He operates a combine full time during harvest and helps oversee the farming of summer fallow, planting wheat, corn and sunflowers and applying herbicide.
With a vast background in FFA. He was a member all four years of high school, serving as a chapter office for three of those years, and was chapter president his senior year. At Northeastern, he is a member of the Aggies Club and has been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Having grown up inside the Colorado Young Farmer organization via his parents’ long time involvement, this winner is totally committed to the agriculture way of life and all it entails. He has been an active member of the NJC Young Farmers Chapter for the past three years and has been involved with helping organize the children’s pedal tractor pulls at both the county and state levels. He’s been an active volunteer for the annual hot rod tractor pull also sponsored by his chapter on Father’s Day weekend. He helps cook at the sponsors’ barbecue and takes tickets at the gate. As an FFA alumni of Fleming High School, Whittington now sits on the Fleming FFA Advisory Council. He is involved in his church as well.