Jay Hill, a member of the second class of Faces of Farming & Ranching, is a vegetable, beef and nut producer from New Mexico. Like Erin Brenneman and Darrell Glaser, he too is committed to answering America’s questions about where our food comes from, and he shares his perspectives here.
Jay’s father, Jim Hill, established Hill Farms in 1969. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, the farm grew slowly while his family lived off a non-agriculture income. As Jay grew up helping with the farm, learning and growing with it, he cultivated his love for the lifestyle. He now farms between 500-700 acres. Jay focuses on vegetable production, always aspiring to grow a good tasting, safe product in the most cost effective way.
Why are you excited to be a Face of Farming & Ranching?
To limit my excitement to one word or sentence is extremely difficult! What I'm most excited about is the people I have yet to meet. The opportunity to share my story with them, and to listen to what they think about our family's farm, and the process of how we grow healthy, great tasting food, are what come to mind first.
How can you help consumers make a connection with farmers and ranchers?
I hope to bring a positive perspective to agriculture. People need to know that the American farmer/rancher works hard to put food on your table, and we always have the end consumer in mind. We love what we do and I hope we can show that passion to the world.
What else can farmers do to give a window into their day to day lives?
My first challenge I would like to tackle would be helping other farmers feel comfortable with opening their gates to show the world where their food comes from. Second challenge would be talking face to face with critics who are truly concerned about how food is produced. I feel that sitting down and having an intellectual discussion would help to clear up a lot of misconceptions they have.
Finally, Jay is also a very talented photographer and you can see his work on Hill Farms’ Facebook page here.