Meet Derek!

derekMy name is Derek Newberry and I am a Senior at Walt Whitman High School. I used to row crew for my high school team but stopped at the beginning of Junior year after I sustained multiple permanent injuries. I now volunteer at Star Gazing Farm and for the Red Cross, work out regularly, and spend lots of time with my friends and family. I have played the violin for nine years and am in my school’s orchestra and played in the pit orchestra for my schools performance of Ms. Saigon, which was tons of fun! I am incredibly excited to go to college next year, but I hope I can still come to the farm to see the animals every once and a while.

What  is your favorite animal on the farm and why?

My favorite animal at the farm is Tetsuro the pig because he seems so happy and relaxed every time I see him. I love how you can scratch his belly and he will just collapse in grunts of pleasure. I also think he is one of the sweetest animals on the farm and is extremely smart. In addition, I really like that he will always allow me to scratch him and almost never goes out seeking trouble.

What about volunteering here makes you most happy ?

I could go on and on about why I love working at Star Gazing Farm, which I did in multiple college essays I wrote this year. In one of these essays I summarized why I love the farm: Each time I return home covered in sweat, dirt, and debris, I feel proud of my decisions, of who I am, and what I am doing for these wonderful animals. I constantly make new friends, both human and animal, and have a much better understanding and appreciation for rural America and the world. While I don’t plan on becoming a farmer and love my life in the city, the farm has given me a rewarding place to unwind, work hard, and express who I am.

Do you have animals at your home you’d like to mention?

I have a six year old Bichon Frise named Madeleine who is the cutest and silliest dog in the world. My family also just got two new kittens from a shelter that we have not named yet.

What is a fun fact about you?

I have been vegetarian since I was born, and I love animals with a passion.