Colorado men honored by National Young Farmers
National Young Farmer Educational Association
Three Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association (CYFEA) members, Dave Lieber, Greg Ditter and Todd Wickstrom, were honored at the 35th Annual National Young Farmers Educational Institute in Falls Church, Va. A delegation of 41 CYFEA members attended the Institute.
Dave Lieber from Sterling was elected president of the National Young Farmer Educational Association (NYFEA). He served as president-elect of the National Association last year and secretary the previous year.
Dave has been a member of the Northeastern Junior College (NJC) Chapter since 1982. His involvement with the CYFEA at the state level from 1988 to 1992 has included serving as reporter, Southeastern vice president, Northeastern vice president and treasurer.
He served as president of the state association in 1998-99. He has held a number of local chapter offices in Sterling over the years, including president and has also served as advisor.
Lieber represented Colorado as a delegate at the NYFEA summer Business Meeting and National Institute Business Sessions for two years. He also served as chairman of the National Institute Review committee.
Dave grew up on a farm in the Arkansas Valley and graduated from Fowler High School in 1980. He received an Associate of Applied Science Degree in 1982 from NJC, majoring in Farm Mechanics. In 1989 he was hired as an instructor at NJC in the Ag Diesel Equipment program. He also has an independent shop where he repairs tractors and equipment.
As president, he will represent the National Association in visiting other state institutes, planning the National Summer Leadership Conference and Summer Business Meeting in Florida in July and coordinate the National Institute business meetings in Oklahoma in December. He will work with members and advisors throughout the United States.
Greg Ditter of Fort Morgan was named the NYFEA Outstanding Advisor for 2001. He received the Outstanding Colorado Young Farmer Advisor award last February. He is the advisor of the Fort Morgan Young Farmer Chapter.
Ditter, a graduate of NJC and Colorado State University (CSU), started his career in ag education as Bennett FFA advisor at Bennett High School where he was also the Young Farmer advisor for one year. He then moved to Fort Morgan and has served as the Fort Morgan Young Farmer Chapter advisor for the past eight years. He also serves as a Young Farmer coordinator for Morgan Community College.
Ditter’s outstanding leadership skills are evident in the success of his chapter’s educational programs and activities. The chapter has 55 members that work closely with local businesses and industries to provide educational workshops and presentations of interest to young farmers. Ditter and the Fort Morgan Chapter also eagerly sponsor a number of community activities.
Todd Wickstrom of Orchard was the recipient of the National Young Farmer Member Award. He is a member of the Fort Morgan Young Farmer Chapter. He is a graduate of Weldon Valley High School and CSU.
Wickstrom, along with his brother, sister-in-law, father and mother, have formed a family farm operation in northwest Morgan County, Wickstrom Inc., that consists primarily of dryland farming and cattle feeding.
The farming part of the operation currently consists of growing winter wheat, proso millet and corn. Sorghum, sunflowers, barley, and feed crops have also been grown over the past several years. Part of the ground Wickstrom and his family farm on is owned by the family, and the other part is rented from several non-family members. Wickstrom Inc. is the sole operator of all the ground.
The livestock side of the operation involves feeding of purchased weaned calves. Wickstrom purchases calves in the fall and winter months and feeds them through the winter. The calves are sorted by weight and are sold as feeders or retained for yearling grass cattle. Wickstrom Inc. is also the operator of the cattle operation, thus feeds from the farming enterprise is utilized for the cattle feeding operation.
Wickstrom joined the Fort Morgan Young Farmer Chapter 11 years ago. He has served as secretary, reporter, treasurer, vice president and president. He has been involved with banquets, parades, and social activities. He has attended several of the past state institutes and may be interested in seeking a state office.