Hampshire Swine Breeder
Ruth (Darnell) Watson grew up in Morgan County, Indiana. Her father, Archie Darnell, was a highly respected livestock breeder who often consulted other farmers in the area about their breeding stock. As the daughter of a farmer, she learned to gather eggs, milk the cows, and feed the hogs at an early age. Ruth was known as an excellent horse woman growing up and often participated in the town rodeos.
She went on the graduate from Monrovia High School in 1949 and from Indiana Central School of Business. She married George Watson shortly after in 1950. Since then, Ruth has been involved in the purebred swine industry and has contributed to many different facets of it.
Ruth and George moved to the farm where she still currently resides and were married for 54 years before he passed away in 2004. Over the years, Ruth and George raised 4 children (Ann, Julia, Mike, and Steve) and started a purebred Hampshire Swine farm which continues today after 58 years.
All of the Watson children were 10 year 4-H members and showed Hampshire's at the local, state, and national level. Ruth's 4 Grandsons were also 10 year 4-H members and her 5 Great-Grandchildren are now starting to participate as well. Ruth coordinated the Monroe-Gregg 4-H club for over 20 years. She has helped to organize and clerk the family 4-H spring pig auction for 37 years. Along with this, she started the "George Watson Memorial Scholarship" for 4-H members in 2005.
Ruth was a charter-member of the Monrovia Extension Homemakers and still actively participates. She was a nominee for the Extension Homemaker of the Year at the Indiana State Fair. She served on the Indiana State Porkettes Executive Board and travelled around to promote the swine industry.
She also participated in all Morgan County Pork Producers events and helped to organize the Morgan County Purebred Swine Breeders. Ruth, along with George, were both active members in the Hoosier Hampshire Swine Club.
Those who are fortunate enough to know Ruth know that she does most of her work behind-the-scenes. She can always be found helping exhibitors with paperwork or in the bleachers watching the shows and continues to run the farrowing house at the farm. Her appreciation for fine livestock and love of competition have played a huge role in the success of the George and Mike Watson operation.
Congratulations and thank you to Ruth Watson for your leadership and dedication to Indiana youth, the Hampshire breed, and the swine industry as a whole.