Linker wins Outstanding Colorado Young Farmers Member Award
For the first time this year, the Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association, headquartered in Sterling, Colo., selected an Outstanding Colorado Young Farmer Member Award recipient.
Lauren Linker, 26, of Fort Morgan, is the 2013 recipient. Linker has been a member of the Fort Morgan Chapter since 2010.
Linker, who works as a NextGen system analyst with Banner Health, has been involved with the Colorado Young Farmers since her childhood. Her father, Terry, is a longtime member of the Young Farmers. She and other children of now-older CYF members participated in the Fourth of July parades, riding on the Chapter’s parade entries each year. They often were at events tied to the organization and she indicates that clear back then, she knew she would be a second generation member.
“I remember running around town telling everyone that my dad was a ‘young farmer’ and I was so proud of that fact,” Linker said. “When I moved back to Fort Morgan after being gone for college, the first thing that I wanted to do was become part of the Young Farmers as an actual member.” Linker paid her dues and has been a busy member and chapter officer ever since. As a matter of fact
“People ask me why I want to be a part of the organization, as I am not actually a ‘farmer,’” Linker notes, then gives what she calls a “simple” answer.
“This organization is more than a bunch of farmers helping other farmers. It is a group of people that cherish the bounty that agriculture gives to our community and our world. Having grown up in agriculture, I have always held it close to my heart.” Linker said that agriculture is so close to her heart and although her primary occupation is in healthcare, she intentionally moved back to northeastern Colorado to serve a population she values and loves.
Since joining the Fort Morgan Chapter, Linker has participated in all but two events or activities, which she had to miss because she was out-of-state. The organization allows for those who have ties to agriculture to join.
Linker has her hands full being part of the Fort Morgan Chapter, which is consistently one of the most active in the state. This year it enjoyed being named the winner of the titles of Outstanding CYF Chapter Award and Outstanding CYF Community Service Award.
Among the activities she has helped with this past year have included serving as a chaperone for a third grade student trip to the National Western Stock Show, helping with Ag in the Classroom programming, selling hole prize sponsorships for the group’s annual golf tournament which raised scholarship dollars, helping build the July fourth parade entry, helping with the Morgan County Fair barbecue and catch-it-pig contest. She helped organize and sell tickets to the Game Night for a Cause which helped raise $2,300 to go to the local Disabled American Veterans organization to help purchase a new van for transporting patients to doctor appointments. She helped pick sweet corn last summer that went to seven different food banks in Colorado and Wyoming and she organized the Caring Ministries of Morgan County food drive. Last but not least, she donated blood during the “Harvest for Life” drive conducted by the Chapter.
Linker has been a chapter offer for the past four years, serving as a reporter, secretary, treasurer and is currently the vice president. She has attended the last four State Institutes.
In addition to the Young Farmer activities, Linker is also involved in her community. She has been the volunteer coordinator for the Morgan County 9Health Fair for the past four years, is a member of the Sunrise Optimist Club, a volunteer for the Banner Health foundation’s fundraiser and a member of the recreation committee for the City of Fort Morgan.
“My best friends are part of this organization,” Linker said. “We not only help out the community, but we also get to spend time with the people that we love the most and these friends and family just keep on growing.”