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Father’s Day Q&A: Greg Fentie

Father’s Day Q&A: Greg Fentie

Fentie raises dairy cows, crops and kids near Springfield, Ont.

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

As Father’s Day approaches on Sunday (don’t forget!) is connecting with as many farm dads as possible across North America for a Q&A about fatherhood, its challenges and to share pieces of advice for new dads.

Greg Fentie (GF) and his wife Ashley raise their three children – a 12-year-old son, a soon-to-be 10-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son, on their dairy and cash crop farm near Springfield, Ont.

“The oldest one is definitely a bit of a leader,” Fentie told “He’s very meticulous, detailed-driven is a bit of a jokester. My daughter is an animal lover at heart, very playful and loves to have a large social circle.

And the youngest one is a risk taker. He loves to climb trees and right now is self-motivated to learn how to ride his bike without training wheels.” Describe where you were when you found out you were going to be a dad for the first time. How did it make you feel?

GF: I got home for supper and Ashley had some bun in the oven. I asked her what was for dinner, and when she opened the oven, I was like ‘what is that? I need more than a bun for dinner. I completely missed the meaning of a bun in the oven. Describe the feeling of holding your newborn for the first time.

GF: Being scared was a part of it. There’s a lot of unknowns ahead, but also lots of opportunities too. You feel this tremendous responsibility to do right by the kids. What’s the best part about being a farm dad?

GF: The flexibility. I get to put them on the bus for school, pick them up after school and take them to baseball practice. And then I can finish my work after that. What’s the hardest part about fatherhood?

GF: Knowing what to do all the time and knowing what the kid needs. I talk to parents about this kind of stuff all the time. What’s a misconception people have about fatherhood?

GF: I don’t even know what any misconceptions are. They’re my pride and joy and being their dad is my favourite thing to do.

Fentie family
The Fentie family (Ashley Fentie Facebook photo). What’s your dad’s (or father figure’s) name? What are some special memories you have with him?

GF: My dad’s name is Bruce. I remember him teaching me how to drive an Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor. I must’ve been three or four at the time and he’s explaining to me what a clutch is. I barely knew my alphabet. And about 30 years ago I worked side by side with my grandpa, Donald, and I remember we worked about 100 acres of land that day. How has fatherhood changed you?

GF: Immensely. Those kids look up to you and they soak up what you say and do. They’ll pull things from you that you don’t even know you’re doing. You have to become a role model. What’s one thing all dads have in common no matter where they are in the world?

GF: I don’t think there is a commonality. What’s one piece of advice you have for new dads?

GF: Get involved with their activities and the community. Go on field trips, go to their school to read a story, and be that role model for your kids and also for other children who may need a male role model.

Nick Schultz, a dairy and cash crop farmer from Fox Lake, Wis., also participated in the Father’s Day Q&A.

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