Darelyn Harrington’s late husband, Michael, began farming in 1993 after his father, Curtis, retired. Curtis had farmed the family’s land since 1953. The first year Michael farmed brought an overabundance of rain; he had to plow under his first crop of corn and saw a soybean yield of only 16 bushels an acre. That year was also the year that the first feeder was bought to begin the livestock portion of Harrington Farms. Throughout the following years, Michael’s brother, Stephen, helped expand the operation with more land and other needs. As the family grew, Darelyn and the couple’s four children, Benjamin, Noah, Madeleine, and Nehemiah, assisted with chores.
In 2014, Michael passed away after a 16-month battle with a brain tumor. The Harringtons’ sons told their mom they wanted to continue farming and Darelyn agreed. The family now operates a cow/calf herd and for the last 11 years have been feeding out their calves from spring and fall cows and even more recently are buying feeders to feed out. The Harringtons have improved their herd with better genetics from various well-known bull producers.
The family also grows corn and soybeans with some alfalfa. The family plants winter rye on corn silage ground for feed. They use conventional and no-till planting within their operation. They custom farm and provide custom hay and cornstalk baling.
Darelyn handles the farm’s finances and other paperwork. She helps with seasonal field work and the cattle and serves as parts runner for the farm. Ben is the operation’s foreman. He works with the cattle, plants and harvests the crops, works as the farm’s mechanic, and takes on other tasks where needed. Noah is the assistant foreman, works with the cattle, truck hauling, drives the grain cart and more. Maddie assists with the cattle, baling hay in the road ditches, helps plant the crops, and keeps everyone organized. Nehemiah assists with the cattle and equipment, the grain cart, and helps with hay and cornstalk baling and other chores and tasks.
Darelyn is a member of her local, state and national beef producer organizations. The whole family takes part in the beef stand at the Cottonwood County Fair. Ben, Maddie, and Nehemiah are members of the worship team at Windom Evangelical Free Church where the family is very involved.