Jill Irvin Schwartz (Animal Sciences ’71) and Stanley Schwartz (Agriculture ’70) met at WSU when Stan was serving as a T.A. in her meats class. They married and, after graduating, moved to Reardan where they have farmed for the past 39 years. They have also given back to WSU for the last 39 years.
On the Importance of Giving Back
When asked what motivated them to give, Jill said, “We felt it was important to give back. We had a great education at WSU and thought even though we could only give a small amount it could still make a difference.”
Giving back is still important for Jill, who grew up in a 4-H family and served as a beef leader in the Reardan Livestock Club for 14 years. Jill was honored as the Western Region Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer for the 2010 National 4-H Salute to Excellence Awards program.
Jill has been involved in 4-H for over 50 years. She has served for more than two decades as a 4-H leader in Lincoln County, on the Washington State 4-H Fair Board for seven years, and is currently in her ninth year as an officer on the Junior Livestock Show of Spokane Executive Board, where she serves as vice president. As a volunteer, Jill is still giving back: during the annual meeting of the Washington State 4-H Foundation Board of Directors, Jill was nominated as a trustee.
The WSU Years
Even though Stan knew he was going to return to the farm, he felt it was important to get a good education. Stan played football for one year and worked at Armour Meats and for the WSU slaughter plant.
Jill’s best college experience was meeting her husband in the coolers of Armour Meat Packing Plant in Spokane. Stan is two years older and a TA for the meats class and Jill a student.
The professor, Dr. Gary Smith, and the meats technician, Duncan Dunn, along with Dr. Everett Martin, were fantastic teachers and became life-long friends.
Stan and Jill said that the advantages of attending college are exposure to new ideas, both from the professors and others, and exposure to other backgrounds and cultures. Jill said, “You become more broad-minded, you learn how to learn, and you learn where to find the resources that lead to answers.”
The Kids Are Cougars, Too
Jill and Stan have three daughters, whom they raised to be Cougs.
Trish graduated from CAHNRS in 2000 with an agriculture degree, specializing in horticulture and agricultural management, she and her husband farm in Ritzville.
Tessa has two degrees in agribusiness, a B.A. ’96 and an M.A. ’98. She is an administrative assistant with a local chemical cooperative, Aglink in Reardan.
Jill and Stan’s youngest daughter, Marci, graduated from WSU with a degree in education in 2004. She works for WSU Extension in Lincoln County and for People to People.
The Schwartz’ Today
To diversify their farming operation they opened an event center, 231 North on their property. The center has a 3,000-square-foot Red Shed that seats 250 people. Jill serves as the 231 North’s event planner and caterer. Two of their daughters have been married at the center. The center is advertised mostly by word and mouth and at their website, www.231north.com.
Jill and Stan also have the area’s only 9-hole pasture golf course. Pasture golf is a great activity for reunions and corporate retreats.