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Stoughton-area woman saluted for 25 years of crop reporting

Hill received her 25 years of service award from Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit.
From left, Inga Hill receives her 25 years of crop reporting award from Agriculture Minister David Marit.

STOUGHTON - Inga Hill has lived in the Stoughton area all her life, beginning on a farm 19 kilometres west of Stoughton with her parents Kristjan and Royal Bjarnason.

It was Hill’s mother who got her involved in the Stoughton Agricultural Society fair at the age of eight, bringing in garden produce and baking, while her father brought in grain for the fair.

Hill was incredibly involved in farm life and when she was old enough to marry, she and her husband Carman Hill bought a farm in 1959 southwest of Stoughton.

Hill raised her three sons, Earl, Bradley, and Harvey on this section of land, and now over 65 years later has slowed down in farming, as her son Harvey took over the work.

To add to this group, they have nine grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Their farm was considered a mixed farm as they had cattle, chickens and planted different grains, and harvested their own hay.

Hill knows all about the farm and helped wherever she was needed, whether it was driving equipment or bringing meals out to the fields.

Through this, she raised her boys and had a large vegetable garden. To this day, she does the books for the farm.

One time, while she was at an event, the Ministry of Agriculture recruitment team was on hand and had a booth looking for volunteers to do a weekly crop report.

Hill was asked if she might be willing to try this and she thought why not, since she lived on a farm and drove past many fields filled with different crops.

On June 18 at Regina's Atlas Hotel, a service award ceremony and luncheon were held to honour 20 volunteers for years of service.

Hill received her 25 years of service award from Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit for her crop reporting.

“I love the farm life and everything that has to do with it,” said Hill.

Over the 25 years, Hill has placed 1,300 calls, with one call each Tuesday during the season. She hopes to remain a crop reporter for another five years.

Hill was very honoured to receive this recognition and has enjoyed the job.

There is a certain way that crop reporting needs to be completed, and it includes a form that is filled out weekly.

Rainfall is measured through a gauge and topsoil moisture is measured with a special stick that is inserted into the ground.

Crop development for cereal grains is measured from the first seedling, which is the first left to appear until the fifth leaf. After this the flag leaf appears and is the last leaf to show up before the crop goes into head.

Spring cereal, flax, canola/mustard and pulse crops are recorded similarly, and hay crops are also evaluated. Presently they are slightly behind due to the rain and cooler weather.

Crops are evaluated on their conditions as dryness, moisture and height. Last year was a terrible year for crops, said Hill, as it was so dry.

If a person sees her parked on the side of the road and walking a short distance into a field, she is working on her report.

At the age of 86, Hill is a busy woman. She has volunteered for the Stoughton Ag. Society for many years and is the treasurer, and helps at the New Hope Pioneer Lodge with activities, as her husband is a resident there.

She loves to bake and often bakes goods for silent auctions at the lodge or for other events.

She admits that she is slower now, and is getting tired, but she enjoys her life and plans to continue as long as health will allow.