Clayton and Kristin Whittmore use their degrees and experiences to mold the lives of local youth

Clayton and Kristin Whittmore from Lamar, Ark., set a high standard for young farmers who start from nothing and strive to reach their potential. Clayton’s family was from the area and had a commercial herd while Kristin’s involvement in agriculture was through FFA in high school.
Their early successes showing livestock foretold the committed and energetic goal-oriented adults they would become. After attending shows and sales, Clayton decided the black purebreds were the best animals. Clayton said, “Simmentals have a moderate frame and are efficient in feed conversion. They have a good combination of muscle and milk and produce 70 to 80 pound calves that cause few birth complications.”
The couple met in college at Arkansas Tech where both were agbusiness majors.
Both work off the farm to help support the farming life they want for themselves and soon to be born daughter. Clayton works for Farm Credit Services as a regional credit analyst for larger lines of credit. Kristin works for the USDA in the National Resources Conservation Service as a soil conservationist.
Whittmore Farm consists of 14 Simmental cows with most registered. The goal is to have 30 Simmental cows and a commercial herd. Both Clayton and Kristin are certified to AI and use some embryo transfer as well. They are currently considering using a recip cooperative herd which makes money for the cow owner and creates a high-quality calf for them without having to own more land or cattle.
In addition to their careers and farming, the Whittmore’s are highly dedicated to the Simmental Association as well as others. Kristin said, “Agriculture has been great to us, and we want to give back.” The Simmental Association had some difficulties which resulted in the junior program fading away. Clayton said, “When I started with Simmentals, I was too old to show in the State Fair Junior Division but was able to compete until I was 21 at the regional and national events through the American Junior Simmental Association. I also believe in promoting the outstanding cattle produced in this state.” As a result, in 2009 Clayton and Kristin decided to resurrect both the adult and junior Simmental associations with Clayton becoming president of the adult Association and both becoming advisors to the Junior Association. Clayton said, “Showing in the Junior Simmental events helps you gain skills you use for the rest of your life. My participation gave me the skills I needed to present conference information to the senior staff at work.”
Since their leadership in the Simmental associations, the Junior Division raised $20,000 to help sponsor a recent regional event in Fayetteville, Ark., a success due to their hard work and dedication. With dedicated young farmers like the Whittmore’s, the Arkansas cattle industry will prosper.


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