We are a small family farm. Ben, Erica, Owen, Lincoln and Silas Wagner.
Erica grew up about 5 miles away from where we currently farm. Her Dad kept her in line with a steel toe boot to the rear now and then but most of the time she was the Princess and could do no wrong (still true today). They raised and showed pigs growing up and she was responsible for her share of chores in the pig barn. Since she grew up farming she has most of the common sense practical ideas, but Ben gets most of the credit for them. She also single-handedly keeps the boys alive while performing all the farm chores and labor when Ben gets sent on the road for work.
Ben realized his calling to farm while working on Kern Family Farm in the Sierra Nevada mountains in North Fork, California. Hansel, Aaron, Becky and Sue Kern as well as many others on that farm showed him a beautiful lifestyle and opened his eyes to the endless possibilities and creative farming endeavors. Then he decided to ride a bicycle barefoot 700 miles to the Northern CA coast, take a train back to Michigan and work for 10 years before finally landing at Hooting Hills.
Owen and Lincoln are shaping up to be awesome farm help. We try not to push them but encourage their curiosity. Owen is always excited to come help no matter what the chore is.
Also a huge thanks to the rest of the Wagner family that endures slave labor when they come to visit and willingly help us in all our crazy tasks. We wish Sam would come more often because we get the most work out of him. Mom and Dad are always willing to lend a hand no matter the circumstance. Becky and Nick (not pictured because it is a logistical nightmare to get everyone together at once) are always helping when they make it away from their own crazy farming adventures.
We are also forever grateful for Erica’s parents Ray and Vickie. If Ray hadn’t been willing to give us a chance we would never be farming in the first place. Vickie is always coming over every day to help watch the boys so Erica can do chores while Ben has to travel. We would not be where we are without their support, that is for sure.
Hank is our awesome Great Pyrenees we took in while he was just about 1 year old. Now we are trying to place him in his guardian role living with sheep, turkeys, chickens, whatever needs protected at any given time.