The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

Meet your neighbor Annie Alecock of rural Smithshire. Annie is originally from Arizona spending most years in the Phoenix and Tucson area with several years living in the beautiful White Mountain area in the Northeast part of the state.

She is the youngest of 5 children born to Bob and Mary Hirsch.

Bob was a popular outdoor magazine and newspaper writer that also wrote dozens of books about adventures on camping, hunting and fishing in Arizona and across the country. Bob was also a radio host, speaker and television personality that was known as "Mr. Arizona Outdoors" by his fans.

Mary was an art teacher in her early years and then went on to become a wildlife artist and illustrator known for her watercolor pictures of sport fish.

Annie's oldest brother Steve is a partner in the law firm Bryan Cave in Phoenix and his wife Cher is a Psychologist in Paradise Valley, they have two son.

Her brother Bill owns a painting business in Phoenix and his wife Diane is a high school math teacher.

Ann's sister Reverend Amy Booker Hirsch lives in Media and works and volunteers at Oak Lane Nursing & Rehab, FOCC, and Presbyterian Church of Media/Stronghurst.

Amy moved from the busy city of Bethesda, MD to be closer to her sister Ann.

Amy has one son Drew who spends the summer and vacations with Amy. Brother Eric lives in Brownsville, Texas and is a supervisor with the city of Brownsville and his wife Mary Jo is a plant supervisor for a boating company. They have 4 children.

Annie is married to Mike Alecock and together they own USA-Containers and Two Dogs Farms. They were married in 2008 and moved it Illinois to be closer to Mike's family.

Ann is the proud mother and stepmother to Emilie Norzagaray (19) a Junior at Western Illinois University majoring in Zoology with a minor in Psychology, Adelaide Norzagaray (18) a Senior at West Central High School in Biggsville and Hannah Alecock (24) who is employed at the FOCC in Stronghurst.

Ann grew up camping and fishing most weekends and was always outdoors. She and her siblings enjoyed family vacations to San Diego, CA where they would sight see in the morning and play in the ocean all afternoon.

Ann enjoyed adopting a wild mustang from the Bureau of Land Management in 1978.

It was a very new program and it took several years of paperwork before the family was approved to adopt the horse. She spent many hours riding her horse in the desert of Arizona.

Annie graduated in 1984 from Arizona State University with a bachelor in education and promptly took off for the summer to back pack across Europe with 4 other college friends before entering the working world. It was a trip of a lifetime where she got to see many the many places you read about in history books.

Before moving to Illinois, Annie was a school teacher in Marana, Arizona and taught fifth and sixth grades for 25 years.

She also joined the family tradition of writing and wrote dozen of articles in magazines nationwide.

In 2001 she became a co-host of Word From the Wild radio show that broadcasted across the state of Arizona.

Annie won over 50 national awards with the Outdoor Writer's Association of America for her writing and broadcasting. She currently still freelance writes for outdoor magazines.

Ann currently does PR and Sales for USA-Containers which is based at the farm outside of Smithshire. USA-Containers sell and rent shipping containers, refrigerated containers and modular offices.

The company also does custom modifications to containers for company like John Deere, Case New Holland and Caterpillar. You might have seen their container at the recent Oquawka Catfish Cook Off in Oquawka over the Fourth of July weekend.

Annie and her daughters Emilie and Adelaide also raise Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats under the herd name Two Dogs Farms.

They enjoy showing their Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats across the country and have won Grand Champion Senior Dairy goat for the last 3 years at the Illinois State Fair.

They also have received the honors of Nigerian Breeder of the year and Exhibitor of the year several times in the last 3 years.

Annie is also a licensed dairy goat judge for the Nigerian Dairy Goat Association where she serves as Vice President and National Youth Chair. She loves to travel across the country and judge and meet with other Nigerian Dairy goat breeders.

Ann is also the president of the Land of Lincoln Nigerian Dairy Goat Club. The club hosts 12 dairy goats shows a year including several at the Henderson County Fairgrounds in Stronghurst.

She also is very active in Henderson County 4-H and is a leader with the Raritan Explorers and 4-H superintendent for the dairy goats at the county fair.

In her free time, which isn't much, Annie enjoys making cheese, boating, fishing and spending times with friends and family.

She is looking forward to moving Mike's boat back down to the Gulf of Mexico next summer and taking boat trips to the Bahamas and Florida Keys and getting some deep sea fishing and sight seeing in.