Delilah Willis: Teen with entrepreneurial vision not stopped by blindness
When she was in 8th grade, Delilah Willis of Hampshire County, West Virginia, went on a school field trip that would shape her future. While visiting a swine facility, she “decided right then I wanted to raise pigs.”
Delilah who attends the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, was born with detached retinas, scoliosis, and hearing loss in her right ear, for which she now uses a bone anchored hearing aid (or BAHA).
Now 16 and a member of FFA, Delilah raises pigs for both show and processing. This year, she showed her pigs at the county fair and received the Grand Champion Bacon Award. To facilitate her success, Delilah has developed her own techniques for handling pigs in competition, such as putting a marshmallow on the tip of her show cane to attract the pig, which she can then drive forward.
Delilah is working with West Virginia AgrAbility and the state’s Division of Rehabilitation Services to achieve her goals. After graduation, she plans to run her own swine handling facility and become a pork products vendor. She has already obtained her commercial vendor’s license and is poised to sell her goods under the brand name Delilah Willis Pork Products.