2020-2021 Conservation Farm Family

Bob, Vickie and Jonathan Hill of Hillyn Farms

Congratulations to Robert "Bob", Vickie and Jonathan Hill of Hillyn Farms for being selected as our 2020 Conservation Farm Family.  They were chosen for their willingness to try new practices, their leadership within the farming community, a long history of conservation on the farm, their progressive thinking for incorporating technology with agriculture and for using best management practices.  

The Hillyn Farm was established in 1919 by Bob's Grandfather, who purchased 100 +/- acres and a house.  It is located in the Arnold Community near Welcome.  In 1976 Bob purchased an additional farm that joins it that was owned by his Great Uncle, who had originally purchased it in 1918.   The farm included dairy cows from the 1940's up until 1995.  From the 1940's to 1995, the farm was a Grade A Dairy Farm and a member of the Coble Dairy Products Cooperative, Inc.  

Bob is a lifelong farmer working with his father “Doc” while also working as an Engineer for Duke Power till he retired in 2009. Then he come back to farm full time.  

Johnathan grew up helping on the farm. Was gone from the farm during college and post college worked as an engineer on military vessels in Norfolk, VA. In 2013 he decided it was time to come back to the farm and has worked fulltime on the farm since.  They are currently farming 600 +/- acres.  Currently the crops being grown are Cover Crops, Soybeans, and Smallgrains - Oats, Wheat, Rye and Triticale. They harvest and bale large portion of small grains for straw. The remaining acres of small grains are left to build soil organic matter.  Bob purchased their first No-till planter in 1974 and went 100% No-till in 1994. They pay close attention to their soil health for increased resilience, crop production, self-maintenance, environmental sustainability, and biological activity.  They operate their farm with the four soil health principles of maximize continuous living roots, minimize disturbance, maximize biodiversity, maximize soil cover, and maximize healthy soil to increase environmental benefits as well as economic benefits.