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Young Country: Baylee Hodges

Young Country: Baylee Hodges

Young Farmers are the future of our agriculture sector, so each month we shine a spotlight on a Young Farmer member. Today we chat to Baylee Hodges from Whanganui Young Farmers.

1.       What is the name of your club, and how long have you been a member?

Whanganui Young Farmers. I have been a member for six years.

2.       What has been the highlight for you of joining Young Farmers? What are the benefits and experiences that you feel have helped you most?

Meeting other like-minded people and getting out of my comfort zone. I’ve grown hugely since being a young farmers member.

3.       How did you become involved in agriculture?

I was lucking enough to grow up on my grandparent’s family sheep and beef farm.

4.       What is your job now?

I am fifth generation on our family’s 440ha sheep and beef farm in kai iwi Whanganui. Ever since a very young age I was determined to follow in my family footsteps and work on the family farm. I completed school and went straight into working for my grandparents. In 2019 I spent three months in Scotland working on a farm during lambing and calving, then I returned home to my shepherding job on the family farm. In 2023 I took out first place at the Central Districts Shepherd Of The Year competition. This gave me and my parents the confidence and trust to move me into a block managers role where I still am today.

5. What do you think the future of farming will look like, and what would like to see happening in New Zealand agriculture going forward?

I believe the future of farming in New Zealand is in good hands with the  generation of young farmers coming through. Their determination and adaptability and good use with technology will benefit our farming sector hugely.

6.       What are your future plans?

My goal is to start by leasing a block of the family farm and work my up into purchasing it.

7.       Who has been your biggest inspiration in agriculture, and why?

My grandparents and my parents. Their dedication towards keeping our family’s legacy continuing, and their hard work ethic and wealth of knowledge that they have passed down to me. They are my biggest motivation to prove I can continue our family’s legacy.