By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life
Heather Hill from Hancock County didn’t grow up on a farm, but her mom grew up on a pig and grain farm and made sure to instill the importance of agriculture in her and her siblings at an early age. This and her 4-H experiences led her to major in Animal Science at Purdue University.
Heather and her husband, Marc, farm with his parents, Steve and Debi. Heather and Marc’s three children, Addison (11), Reese (8), and Hadley (5) are part of the operation. They raise corn, soybeans, wheat and pigs. Marc is the 4th generation to raise pigs in Hancock County.
“I was a proud third generation 4-Her in Laporte County. I took sheep, rabbits, foods, sewing and photography for all 10 years,” Heather says. She had so many great memories during her 10-year experience that she finds it hard to narrow it down to just one, but she says, “I sure do miss those days of hanging out on the show box with friends during the fair!”
Heather is getting to relive her 4-H years through the eyes or her children. “Our kids are the fourth generation of both sides of our family to be in 4-H. Our oldest, Addison, completed her third year of 4-H this year and our son, Reese, completed his third year of mini 4-H. Addison took several projects such as pigs, tractor maintenance, foods, sewing, consumer clothing, soil and water, photography, consumer pork, demonstration and public speaking, just to name a few of them. Reese took mini arts and crafts, mini beef, mini pigs, mini gardening, mini foods, and mini sewing. Our kids love the fair, but showing pigs and hanging out with their friends are probably top of the list.”
When 11-year-old Addison was asked what her favorite part of 4-H is she said, “Getting to meet new people and seeing the finished product on a project after you’ve put lots of hard work into it.”
Pig show day is the Hill’s favorite day at the fair as a family. “We love pig show day! Even though Hancock County is not my home fair, it brings back so many memories for Marc and me, and we are so excited to be making memories with our children.”
Heather’s advice to a parent who is unsure of letting his/her child join 4-H, “Just try it. It is an amazing organization that will definitely give back what you put into it and more!”