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We Can All Thank a Farmer

We Can All Thank a Farmer

Thursday, November 16, 2023/Categories: Customer Stories, Home Page Story

Heartland Bank will always take the opportunity this time of year to thank its clients, associates and communities. Relationships keep this community bank strong while allowing the bank to assist clients, neighbors, friends and family with their financial journeys and life’s greatest challenges.

With roots that date back to the Croton Bank in a small Licking County farming community, Heartland was started by farmers for farmers. Thanking a farmer is not just an arbitrary saying this time of year for Heartland, it’s why we’re here and what made the bank what it is today. From the C-suite to the front-line associates, Heartland values the roots that established the bank and protects its growth for the betterment of the communities it serves.

Heartland is thus committed to its farming clients and agricultural businesses. Sharing client stories provides foundational support for Heartland’s ongoing efforts to reach the farming community. The goal of spreading financial expertise to these hard-working individuals and their businesses is second nature with the history and background of the bank. Heartland extends heartfelt thanks to these businesses and shares a behind-the-scenes story from one of its pork-producing clients, Jimmy and Emily.

Emily Prince and husband, Jimmy:

Jimmy brought up the idea of a hog barn back in 2018. There were many positives as we weighed our decision. We had both grown up and worked on farms, but this was our first big financial step. This was a market that we felt comfortable entering. There was also the benefit of using the manure on his dad’s crops. What confirmed the decision for me was our love of livestock. Although Jimmy loves the crop farming side of things, his real passion and talents rest in raising and caring for livestock. In fact, this is what brought the two of us together back in 2013. 

Back to 2018, our first son was one and our second son was on the way. As we thought about the future, we wanted to make sure the farm we left behind to the next generation would be well-rounded, diversified, connected and cyclical in nature. If any or all of our three children would like to continue on the farm, we want to make sure there is every opportunity possible for them. We care deeply about the future of this eighth-generation farm, for our family and for all families that we help to feed and nourish.

The hog barn was a great step in teaching our children where their food comes from. The pork, beef, and chicken products in our freezer come from animals our family has raised. A great deal of our vegetables and fruits we have grown, harvested, and preserved ourselves. The eggs we fry in the mornings to go alongside our bacon, my children’s hands have gathered. They understand that the piglet they help care for and raise will then feed our family and also many other families, which is a way to help others and help care for them as well. In these days of automaticity, we find it so valuable to understand where things come from and to appreciate the hard work it took to get it there. 

In September of 2019, our first group of piglets hit the barn. We have never looked back and have loved every minute of it. Heartland Bank played a huge role in getting us there. We truly felt that they cared for us, even though we were ‘new’ and ‘small.’ They took a chance on a young couple looking to improve the future for their family and expand. We are forever grateful for that. 

Emily’s favorite memory from working in the pork industry:

I love watching our children help in the hog barn.

Their personal involvement in swine/pork youth organizations/events and county fairs: 

We are very involved with our county fair. In fact, the Champaign County Fair holds a special place in our families’ hearts, both on Jimmy’s side of the family and mine. A passion for livestock and helping youth with their projects was instilled in us from a young age. Being club advisors and involved community members is important to us. We see this as a perfect way to help teach and encourage the next generation. 

Emily’s favorite pork recipe:

I have a very special recipe for ham balls, many folks call this ham loaf. This is something my ‘Momma’ would make often for special occasions. It was used so much in fact, that she had to rewrite the recipe multiple times (see photo). She was very picky about the ground ham and fresh pork she used. I think she is smiling down, so pleased to see me making this same recipe for families and friends using our own pork. 

Ham Balls (makes roughly 16)

2# ground ham
1# fresh pork
3 large eggs
1 C tomato juice
1 C milk
2 C crushed crackers
2 T mustard
1 C ketchup
1 C tomato juice
1.5 C brown sugar
1. Mix all ingredients for ham balls by hand, form as desired, and place in pan.
2. Combine sauce ingredients and boil hard for 2 minutes.
3. Top ham balls with sauce, reserve some for serving.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour.

Heartland is not just a bank. It is a family of proud associates working to guide the financial futures of farmers, business owners and individuals in Central Ohio, Greater Cincinnati and, in the case of agriculture, in the countryside surrounding these markets. Heartland invites you to explore our website, visit a branch or give us a call to learn why you should put down roots in a community bank!