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Hatching nest eggs

Hills Bank celebrates agriculture month
Noah Gingerich isn’t quite sure what to make the of the little yellow ball of fluff he sees at Hills Bank. The branch office at West Forevergreen Road in North Liberty held a baby chick day on Saturday, March 28, inviting the public into the branch to hold newly-hatched baby chicks, play games and enjoy free prizes and refreshments. The annual event is part of the bank’s recognition of the role agriculture plays in the Midwest’s economy. (photos by Lori Lindner)

NORTH LIBERTY– March was agriculture month at Hills Bank and Trust Company, and what better way to celebrate than inviting a few chicks over?
It was baby chick day at North Liberty’s Forevergreen Road location on Saturday, March 28. Doors opened to the public so children and families could visit the baby chicks hatched at the bank earlier this month.
Hills Bank and Trust, founded and still headquartered in Hills, has been part of Iowa’s agricultural landscape since 1904, when a group of 19 citizens founded the local savings and loan with combined assets totaling $10,000. Today the full-service commercial bank has 17 branch locations in 10 different communities in Eastern Iowa.
In 1990, the company recognized the agricultural community’s contributions by instituting Ag Week. It began promoting the special week by hatching eggs under an incubator inside the bank’s lobby for the first time in 1996. Since then, Hills Bank locations across Eastern Iowa have stretched the recognition to a month-long celebration in March, hosting events like barnyard days, egg hatchings and baby chick days.
Hill’s Forevergreen Road branch manager Dawn Lyons said the event is in its fifth year of being held in North Liberty, with the first two years at the Zeller location and switched to the Forevergreen location when it opened.
“Each year we are excited to welcome new families to the event, and have some families that have traveled from as far as Des Moines to be with us,” said Lyons.
Approximately 60 children attended the 2015 baby chick day with their families. In addition to celebrating the relationship agriculture has to Hills Bank’s history, it gives bank employees the opportunity to talk with customers about topics of all interest.
“We enjoy sharing the history of Hills Bank with our customers and our roots in agriculture are a strong thread of our fabric,” Lyons said. “Our visitors enjoy the event as do our employees.  It’s a chance to celebrate everything that renews in the springtime.”