Living a farming lifestyle is a family tradition
Passing on a love of farming to the next generation.
By Gene Still
For Lisa Hodgins, it’s a natural thing to make a long-term commitment to a lifestyle involving agriculture.
Lisa and Cameron Hodgins, along with their three children, are part of Hodgins Farm near Lenore about 80 kms northwest of Brandon. And Lisa has been chosen as the Prairie Farmer of the Future for August.
The biggest challenge we see is the environmental impact some of the current conventional practices and their effect today and in the future. We as small eco-friendly farmers can serve as an example for the large conventional farmers to prove that they can move away from some of these practices and still produce food and profit. – Lisa Hodgins
She decided to pursue a life in agriculture because – like husband Cameron – it’s how they were raised.
“Having both grown up on a farm, we both enjoy the lifestyle of living and working on the farm… [and] the opportunities it allows us to learn and share with our children [and the] ability to work as a family,” Lisa said. “We now live on Cameron’s family farm and have been on it for about 10 years now.”
Hodgins Farm is an example of an intergenerational family farm that will continue to grow from its deep roots for years to come.
Lisa and Cameron along with their children live in the house that Cameron was raised in. The farm itself was purchased in 1953 by Cameron’s grandparents.
She said they all like working with animals and the land. “[We] enjoy trying to improve the land and local ecosystem for future generations,” Lisa said. Cameron and his father manage a herd of 100 cows together, as well as custom graze 300 yearlings each year, all of which is done on pastures that are certified organic.
And since taking a holistic management course together in 2008, they have improved their pastures with planned rotational grazing.
“Cameron’s parents were already farming organically and direct marketing which assisted with our growth as a farm business,” Lisa said. “Holistic Management influenced us with our grazing – planned rotational grazing and planning practices – Living a farming lifestyle is a family tradition Passing on a love of farming to the next generation. looking at the bigger picture.”
An additional family venture of two dozen bee hives is ran as a partnership between Cameron and his two brothers. Hodgins Farm also includes chickens, pigs and sheep.
Lisa said life on the farm is something they wanted to share with their kids.
“Growing up the farm is part of the lifestyle that we wanted to have for our children as we enjoyed our childhoods working and playing on the farm,” she explained.
One of the aspects they enjoy as being part of an operation – Hodgins Farm – is that it involves a great variety such as beef, lamb, pork and honey.
“Yes, we enjoy the diversity of our operation and the challenges and successes of each enterprise,” she noted. “We strive to always learn, and not become too complacent in our operation, looking for new, different ideas.”
A farming lifestyle also provides the chance to get their kids involved in a “hands-on” type of way.
“Living on the farm allows us to teach our children about life such as the up and downs and responsibilities – daily chores helping,” she said.
Lisa added it’s also about being able to work with both our kids and our parents and “the freedom and space to live, work and play”. When it comes to the future of agriculture and its ongoing evolution, “The biggest challenge we see is the environmental impact some of the current conventional production practices and their effect today and in the future,”
Lisa explained. “We as small ecofriendly farmers can serve as an example for the large conventional farmers to prove that they can move away from some of these practices and still produce food and profit.” For more information on the Hodgins Farm online go to: www. hodginsfarm.com.