CALS Alumna Finds Niche at Hillco Technologies
Shelbie Sigler has always known that she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture, she just wasn’t sure which part. After transferring to the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, she found her calling in agribusiness.
“I knew that I enjoyed math and economics, so ag business made sense,” Sigler said. “It tied everything together — what I was good at and the things I liked the most. U of I has a great ag program, so it was an easy choice for me.”
The Meridian native graduated with a bachelor’s in 2013 and immediately accepted a marketing assistant position with Hillco Technologies in Nezperce. Hillco designs and develops combine-leveling systems and performance enhancing products for brands like John Deere and Case-IH.
In her position as marketing assistant, Sigler has many different responsibilities. She visits dealerships, takes sales calls and produces marketing materials. She also helped redesign Hillco’s website — her first big project after joining the company.
Sigler is currently working on a project that shows farmers the return on investment of Hillco products. The project has been met with enthusiasm.
“If they’re not going to make money off a product, then there’s no real reason to buy it,” she said.
Sigler received many hands-on opportunities at U of I that prepared her for her career, including participating in the Food Distribution Research Society Student Food Marketing Challenge. The challenge offers student teams the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a real-world situation. Sigler and her teammates traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico and had one day to develop a marketing plan for a Puerto Rican company interested in distributing products in the US. The plan was then presented to a panel of professors.
Sigler also enjoyed the small class sizes at U of I because it gave her the opportunity to get to know her classmates and professors.
“If you get to know your professors, they will really help you out — in school and even after school,” she said. “They helped me get the job I have now, and that means a lot to me.”
Sigler hopes to advance within Hillco, but her ultimate goals are to stay in agriculture and stay close to her husband’s family.
“I love the people in agriculture,” she said. “Working for a company that helps farmers out and helps their bottom dollar is really what it’s all about.”