26493934709 6167decd69 bOHIO COUNTY, Ky. (11/9/17) — Ohio County farmer Darren Lutrell has been chosen as one of three Kentucky Farm Bureau Farmer of the Year finalist. Richard Preston of Hardin County and Lisa Robards of Bullitt County are the other two finalists.

KFB initiated a "Farmer of the Year" awards program as a way to recognize its members for their commitment to excellence in agriculture, efficiency in farming practices, sound financial management and outstanding leadership in their county Farm Bureau and other civic organizations. The award recognizes an individual whose personal efforts not only strengthen the state's agriculture industry but also demonstrate service and leadership on and off the farm.
 
Since 1982, Darren Luttrell has been a part of the family farming operation and has seen production acres double from 1,800 to 3,600 consisting of corn and soybeans. He also operates eight broiler houses and raises 380 head of beef cattle.
 
In addition, he has also been associated with a leading agriculture technology company as a dealer for the last 16 years. While this part of his overall farming experience is not a major revenue contributor, Luttrell said it has allowed him to know and utilize their technology quickly and work with some of the best and most progressive farmers in the area.
 
The Luttrell operation is a true family farm. His two sons are both involved full-time on the farm primarily focusing on the grain and cattle operations while wife Debbie helps him with the poultry business.
 
Luttrell has used different precision farming tools over the years to help reduce input costs and has always been willing to try new farming practices.
 
He would like to expand his grain system and grow more acres in the future. He also plans to give his sons more responsibility in the decision-making process on the farm.
 
"The key to our future is a well-executed succession plan that will ensure a successful operation for many years to come," said Luttrell.
 
He has been active in the Ohio County Farm Bureau, the local Chamber of Commerce, his church and the local school system where he is known as "Farmer Luttrell" and has helped teach children about life on the farm.

Judges met in late-September to conduct interviews with the finalists and visit the farms. The "Farmer of the Year" recipient will be announced at KFB's 2017 state annual meeting in Louisville on December 1 and will receive $1,000 from the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation. All three finalists will be given a KFB jacket, and the runners up will each receive $250 from the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation.

In addition to the statewide recognition and prizes, KFB's "Farmer of the Year" winner will represent Kentucky in the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern "Farmer of the Year" contest, the South's most prestigious agricultural award, in Moultrie, Georgia, in October of 2018. Last year's winner received a $15,000 cash award plus $2,500 as a state winner from Swisher International, the use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey Ferguson North America, a $500 gift certificate from the Southern States cooperative and a Columbia jacket from Ivey's Outdoor and Farm Supply.

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