Proud to be a Farmer: Ben Hilliard
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Ben Hilliard’s onions roll down the belt for grading. He’s a first generation farmer who started only a decade ago.
“I started out working for some other guys. I always had a passion for tractors and cultivating even from my early years with my granddad in the garden,” Ben Hilliard, Farmer said.
He started with only a dozen acres, but now grows more than 200 acres of Georgia’s official vegetable.
“No matter where you go in the Continental United States, if you say you grow Vidalia onions they know what you’re talking about,” Hilliard said.
He says starting a farm from scratch is challenging enough, but the current economy has made things even bumpier.
“The increase in our fuel prices, our material costs. Our fertilizer costs are up 30 percent. And there’s more volitivity than that - the weather,” Hilliard said.
Despite the challenges - new and old- he says there’s nothing he’d rather do.
“There’s no greater satisfaction than taking a seed to table, especially a Vidalia. Then you hear customer feedback about how much they enjoyed them and how much they look forward to them the next year,” Hilliard said.
That satisfaction makes him Proud to be a Farmer.
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