Proud to be a Farmer Farmers Fast 5: Where we ask a farmer five quick questions about farming, and what agriculture means to them. Today we talk to Hawarden Proud Farmer Dan Hodgen.
1. How long have you been farming?
I grew up on the family farm and after a stint away in my twenty’s came back in 2002.
2. What sort of farming were you involved in?
Sheep farming. Normally finish beef as well but everything went at the start of the drought and haven’t got back in that market yet
3. What makes you proud to be a farmer?
I’m a 5th generation NZ farmer and 4th where we are now so I guess following on that legacy makes you pretty proud. It’s a great industry. Farmers battle adversity and always come out with a smile or at least a dry joke. I’ve been extremely proud of how our farming, and wider for that matter, community has come through the last 3 years in particular. They’ve banded together when times were tough and looked after themselves and each other really well. It’s hard not to be proud of being a part of that.
4. What do you love about your job as a farmer?
The challenge is a big part of it. Always something different to have a crack at. One day you’re a stockman then a vet, a tractor driver, a soil scientist, a weather forecaster and so much else even an economist at times. The last 4 years has been interesting getting involved in the wider industry and working on issues bigger that just my farm. I also get a kick out of working with my family and teaching my kids. I can’t imagine bringing them up anywhere else.
5. What advice would you give the next generation of farmers?
Get a degree and become a dentist. Nah seriously, plan, plan and probably plan. Set short, medium and long term goals and go for them. There is a wealth of knowledge rolling around in other farmer’s heads and most are happy to share it. Most established farmers I know get a real kick out of helping keen young farmers succeed so don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice.
Photo: Claire Inkson