Krista Ventimiglia joined the MacFarlane Hen Barn crew in July 2017. Her work involves helping to create the white meat pheasants via artificial insemination and raising the pedigree white pheasants. She also works with the Hen Barn crew to collect and record data on the birds. Krista is in charge of weighing eggs and collecting the data for choosing the egg-laying pedigree hens!
Krista grew up and still lives in Durand, Illinois, which is about 25 miles south of the MacFarlane farm. Poultry has always been her specialty. She was active in 4-H for many years, showing her prize poultry. Krista currently judges small animals for the Winnebago County Fair. But working at MacFarlane’s and judging at the fair isn’t enough to keep this active employee busy!
Krista also makes jewelry from, none other than, MacFarlane pheasant feathers, washed and sanitized before they become jewelry. The jewelry is made from Ringneck, White and Melanistic Mutant feathers with semi-precious gemstones, wood, or glass beads. Some of the jewelry contains found peacock feathers from another location. All of the jewelry is on display and for sale at our retail store on the main MacFarlane Farm.
This jewelry is so unique because the feathers were found on our farm and the employee is producing the jewelry for our store. Krista’s talents don’t stop there, though! She is considered the Hen Barn’s craftiest person, so she takes on the job of decorating the port-a-potty for the holidays.
In addition to her work for MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc., and her work crafting, Krista is busy raising two boys. Dominic is in second grade and Nicoli is two years old. Their dog, Bea Arthur is a fun addition to her family.
When I asked Krista who the most influential person in her life had been, she was anxious to tell me about her former boss, Deb. She said, “Deb taught me to believe in myself and that I could do anything I put my mind to. I would not have gone after the job at MacFarlane Pheasants or started my jewelry making venture if it wasn’t for her continued support and encouragement.” Krista said Deb was a “wonderful example of tolerance and strength,” and considers herself very lucky to have her constantly cheering her on.
Lastly, when I ask Krista what she enjoyed most about working here she said it was interacting with the birds. She said, “I love their funny faces and their personalities. I enjoy snuggling the birds, which I believe is what has led to a significant improvement to the white pheasant program within the last six months.”
We enjoy Krista’s many talents and feel lucky to have such a hard-working, talented employee on our farm.