Legacy of care and service by Dr. John and Jill Hancock to Prince Edward County honoured with Wall of Fame nod

(From left) 2022 Wall of Fame honouree Dr. John Hancock, Prince Edward Federation of Agriculture member Dennis Dick and Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith at Farmtown Park earlier this fall. (Submitted Photo)

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

Deeply valued and long serving members of the Prince Edward County agriculture family have taken their rightful spot in the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame at Farmtown Park in Stirling.

Local veterinarian Dr. John Hancock was amongst a small group of farm leaders from the region on hand and recognized for their enduring legacies earlier this fall. 

Hancock and his late wife Jill were nominated by the Prince Edward Federation of Agriculture and, according to member and nominating lead Dennis Dick, Dr. Hancock remains dedicated to craft of caring for those beings who can’t tell their master what’s ailing them.

“John is a talented veterinarian for all species with tremendous skill and knowledge, always on call nights and weekends, showing a great devotion to his clients and his profession,” Dick said during last month’s induction ceremony.

A native of Durham, ON, Hancock graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from University of Guelph while Jill was born in Victoria, BC, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Wellington College, University of Guelph.

The couple were married in 1973, just a year after Hancock began his career as a veterinarian working for Dr. Robert Clapp, owner of Picton Animal Hospital and it was noted as of this year, Hancock has been a practicing veterinarian for 50 years.

In 1980, Hancock and Dr. David Grier purchased the Picton Animal Hospital and continue the practice currently.

Chapters and volumes could be filled with tales of Hancock’s service to local and regional animal care and professional veterinary  boards. Until recently, Hancock provided emergency vet services to a broad regional area from Highway 400 to the Ottawa region, caring for cattle, swine and sheep when the call came.

“John helped to initiate the establishment of the Steer Show at Picton Fair to raise scholarship money for students studying Agriculture and has been an active member of the Prince Edward Beef Producers for 20 years,” Dick added.

Throughout the years of Dr. Hancock’s veterinary practice with busy hours of on-call, Dick explained Jill was the partner in life, family and farming 

“Jill Hancock has been described as a great wife and mother, and encourager. A person who would say ‘Let’s do this!’ Or  ‘You can do this! whatever it happened to be,” Dick said.  “She was deeply interested in helping others and had a great talent for being a listener especially with the elderly.”

Jill Hancock served as a Board member of the Wellington Storehouse Foodbank working there as needed and assisted for many at Prince Edward Beef Producers fundraising events. 

Dr. John and Jill co-owned purebred Holsteins for a number of years. They owned and John still has a herd of purebred Hereford and Angus cattle as well as Hereford/Angus cross cattle.

John continues to farm their 200 acres of crops including hay, corn, and soybeans.

“I am very honoured to be nominated by the nomination committee of the Prince Edward Federation of Agriculture,” Hancock told the Gazette. “It is very humbling to be recognized for this award- a total surprise and wish my late wife Jill had had the opportunity to realize she was being honoured for all her hard work as well. Anything we have done in the community was done for our appreciation of the wonderful people of Prince Edward and our love of agriculture and the community.”

The Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame was born in 2006 when Jim Dalrymple thought it important to recognize agricultural leaders in the agricultural and food industry in the counties of Northumberland, Hastings, Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington.

Dalrymple, along with other like minded people set out the objective which is to formally and publicly recognize individuals in the Quinte area who have made an outstanding contribution to the agricultural and food industry at the local, regional, provincial or national level.

Individuals or couples can be nominated from Ag. businesses, government or from farms, etc. by visiting farmtownpark.ca