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Educating Consumers With Pride

When it comes to agriculture education, the Ontario Pig Mobile continues to be a shining example of how important it is to interact with consumers, and provide valuable insight into the pork industry and how farmers raise pigs.   

“The Pig Mobile is a great learning tool and it’s really vital, as over time we’ve lost the connection between consumers,” says fourth generation farmer Kathleen Homan.  

Kathleen and her dad John were among 18 family groups who proudly served as Ontario Pork Hambassadors during the 2023 season. This father-daughter duo is a perfect reflection of the intergenerational aspect in the Ontario pork industry.  

“This is a great opportunity to really give a face to our industry,” says third generation pork producer John Homan. “With Kathleen here we can show the public that there is a younger generation that loves working with animals and that care about producing quality food.”  

The Homans farm is a farrow to finish operation that also provides breeding stock for Topigs Norsvin. Located in the Niagara Region, the family farm was first started by John’s grandfather. Today, John and his brother Dirk share the responsibility of continuing the family legacy.  “My grandfather came from the Netherlands in the early 50s and ended up here in Wainfleet,” says John. “Our dad loved farming, so he took it over and growing up he taught us how to farm. That’s the nice thing about working with family is you can count on them and know someone always has your back.”  

At just 20 years old, Kathleen has shown a great love for agriculture, proudly operating her own farmgate store, selling pork products that were raised on the Homan farm.  

“It’s really amazing to be part of that grander theme of growing a product and selling it,” says Kathleen.  “When consumers ask you questions, it makes it a really rewarding experience to be able to answer their questions.”   

According to Kathleen, there is no price you can put on generational farming knowledge.  

“My Grandfather will tell us things that his dad told him. That knowledge goes way back. To be able to talk to the people who saw the whole thing grow is really something special.”  

According to John, family run farms hold a special connection to the products they raise, which is why the Homans take great pride in the food they produce.  

“It’s our signature on that product, its our face, our reputation they are dealing with, so there’s extra care that we provide there.”  

As for if their family farm will stay in the Homan name? “We would love to see the family farm continue, maybe it’s Kathleen or maybe its Dirk’s kids, there’s definitely a space for them.”  

For now, Kathleen says she’s content with growing her small business. “I’d love to see my little store take me places, but yes I do want to stay involved on the farm.”  

Source : Ontario Pork

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