Farming and love of livestock have long been a cornerstone of the Wickliff family. Young Linda (Wickliff) Petty grew up on an idyllic, small farm in Hancock County where she learned commitment and dedication from her father, Bill Wickliff. Bill was a kind man who always thought of others, and this was especially true of the local 4-Hers. The Wickliff family loved the annual 4-H fair; that is where Bill made a lasting impression on all who knew him.
Bill Wickliff saw a need in the 4-H arena when several young 4-Hers had animals that did not receive enough bids to be profitable. Bill recognized the hard work of these young people, and he decided to invest in them by bidding on their show animals. The happiness on the faces of these 4-Hers was all the thanks Bill needed. That is what started a wonderful tradition for Bill and his wife, Wilma, of bidding on livestock every year at the Hancock County 4-H Fair.
Now grown, Linda and her husband, Jerry Petty, committed themselves to carry on the family tradition, and they wanted their legacy to live on past their lifetime, as well as honor Linda’s parents. This tradition now leaves a legacy through the Bill and Wilma Wickliff and Jerry and Linda Petty 4-H Livestock Award. Starting a fund through the Hancock County Community Foundation was important to Linda and her now late husband because Linda was a 10-year 4-Her, showing pigs and sheep. They knew the importance of supporting and celebrating youth and their hard 4-H work in Hancock County. Linda says, “I was involved in a lot of activities when I was young, but the 4-H program was the one that shaped me the most.”
Qualifying students for the award shall be selected through a nomination process administered by the Purdue Extension Office – Hancock County. The student must be graduating from a Hancock County public high school pursuing post-secondary education. The student must be a current member of the Hancock County 4-H program with at least five consecutive years of enrollment in a livestock project and must participate in the current year’s 4-H Livestock Auction. Nomination criteria is for qualifying 4-H members who have displayed integrity, showmanship, a love for 4-H, and have been personally involved in the care and show preparation of livestock.