Hill View Farms still going strong after 5 generations, grateful for community support

Hill View Farms dates back to the late 1800s and has been in the Gilles family for five generations. The farm has evolved quite a bit since it was started, most recently by dipping into agribusiness and meat sales in recent years. They now have their own storefront and are a regular vendor at the Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market.

Jim Gilles, who moved back home in 2012 after graduating from the University of Kentucky, Gilles now runs many of the operations on the farm. The farm that once held tobacco, row crops, and beef cattle began to sell their product.

Having sold sides and quarters of beef for several years, the farm recognized the need for quality retail cuts of meat and jumped on it, starting Hill View Farms Meats.

“We started selling retail cuts similar to a grocery store,” Gilles said previously. “We developed a label and became a USDA processor in 2013, and opened a storefront in 2016.”

Gilles said their beef cattle are never fed any antibiotics or hormones. He said they want their meat products to remain clean and clear of such products so that their customers get the best quality they can, enabling them to “taste the difference.”

Hill View began setting up at the Farmers’ Market in 2013, selling mainly beef at the time. After gaining more business, they expanded to selling chicken, milk, and cheese.

“That kind of was the place that made the most sense,” Gilles said, noting that when Hill View first started there was only one other meat vendor at the market.
In 2016, Hill View opened a retail location on their farm. Located at 5024 Lee Rudy Road, the farm and storefront offer its own beef and chicken, and it sources pork from a neighboring farm. The store also features a wide array of milk, cheeses, jams, jellies, and more.

Gilles attributes their longstanding success to the constant support of the area and the farming community.

“It’s a cool feeling for our farm to have been around for this long,” he previously said. “Someone in the family has always been interested in keeping the operation going, and that’s pretty neat. … As we’ve grown, the community has always been there to help us out. We love to give back, and we think it’s important to help the community that helps us. We like sponsoring and supporting different initiatives, working with local businesses, and working together to support one another.”

Originally published in Owensboro Times
Presented by Independence Bank
Layne Boarman
August 26, 2023