Our Northwest

Urban chicken flies the coop

Tuesday, September 30, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

It was PEMCO’s version of Foghorn Leghorn meeting his Warner Bros. executive producer.
   Except in this case, the chicken was real, not animated.
   Last year Rod Brooks spoke at a Focus on Farming conference in Everett. Rod is our VP and chief marketing officer, and when he keynoted the conference he had no clue he would cross paths with a real living Northwest Profile.
   Urban Chicken Farmer is PEMCO NW Profile #6. The woman holding the chicken in our ad is hired talent, but the chicken’s real owner, Karen Hills, just happened to be at the farming conference that day. She approached Rod and introduced herself, saying she owned our celebrated chicken.
   And it turns out the chicken has a name: Birdie Hicks.
   You see, when our ad agency sought a farmer and a chicken for the NW Profile photo shoot, Birdie apparently answered the casting call and pecked her way to the top.
   Rod promised he’d send Karen a PEMCO transit ad featuring Birdie, the hired hen talent in our Urban Chicken Farmer profile. Karen and her husband Marcus (top photo) hung Rod’s sign on the shop wall in a barn owned by Marcus’ parents.
   Now, to be perfectly transparent, we must disclose: Birdie Hicks is no longer an urban chicken. She’s a rural bird, living with 10 other hens near Auburn at The Egg Ranch, established by Marcus’ grandparents in 1955.
   Thank you, Karen and Marcus, for sharing these photos. We hope Birdie remains a humble fowl despite her fame.

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