Farmer retires after more than 37 years of service

Farmer retires after more than 37 years of serviceNaval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division Public Affairs Kimberly Brown– Although she had her flag-raising ceremony in January, Heidi Farmer officially retired Feb. 28 after more than 37 years of service.

Farmer first started working for the Naval Weapons Center the summer in between her junior and senior years of high school as a Clerk Typist, and then came on with a contractor until 1985 when she transitioned to civilian service in support of the Computer Aided Engineering group.

After completing an associate degree at Cerro Coso Community College in Ridgecrest, Farmer moved into Configuration Management supporting Sparrow, HARM, Sidewinder and Standard Missile programs.  Education would become a major focus for Farmer, in part because of a pig – or a pig costume at least.

“China Lake was a very spirited place to work, and many people dressed up for Halloween,” she said. “I dressed up as a pig one Halloween, and Executive Director Sterling Holland liked pigs, so I met him by chance.”

Holland encouraged Farmer to pursue her education further, and she enrolled in the bachelor’s degree program in business administration through Cal State Bakersfield.

“Education became addictive, so I enrolled and completed a MBA through CSUB,” she said, adding that she considered pursuing a PhD, but her father, who himself holds a PhD, said that unless she wanted to teach, it wasn’t worth the effort.

“It still makes me chuckle. Education is so worth it,” Farmer said.

After getting her degree, she took a position in the Cost Analysis Department where she supported JSOW and MSST. When MSST was cancelled, Farmer decided to try something new and moved to the Business and Financial Management Department. She also did a rotation in unmanned systems and most recently supported the DITAC Department.

“I have had a very rewarding career full of wonderful people and opportunities,” Farmer said. “In trying times, like Desert Storm, people pulled together, worked long hours, removed the layers of red tape and got capabilities to the warfighter when it mattered, because we believe in the mission.”

U.S. Navy photo by Ryan Smith: Heidi Farmer accepts a flag flown in her honor during a ceremony held Jan. 14 in China Lake, California.

Story First Published: 2022-03-11