Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 25th , 2020 (ZIZ News)
By: Chaïra Flanders
The 2020 Livestock Farmer of the Year, Garrett Lewis, who is affectionately known as “Humble Dread” of Half Way Tree is using his experience to help aspiring livestock farmers.
ZIZ visited Humble’s Beef and Mutton Enterprise on Monday to get a better understanding of the work that is done on a daily basis.
In a brief interview with ZIZ News, Humble said lots of hard work and his love for farming are what keep him driven.
“It takes hard work and dedication if you may and you have to have a love for it. You can’t just be there saying well it’s a side job or something even though you could. Me, personally, I find that when you have an interest and you have a love, it’s easier to do that, you understand? It is hard work. You just have to be on timing with the animals, just make it a procedure and very two weeks you spray up the animals them so we know we keeping them clean. After the COVID loss we have certain incentives that you know if we were to be short on Bayticol again, we would implement certain things so therefore we wouldn’t have a huge loss of animals like I did in the past between 2017 to 2019”, he said.
Lewis said he felt pleased when he was awarded Livestock Farmer of the Year.
He said it was an honour to see his dedication recognised even though he did not receive any assistance for his animals and was able to overcome after losing a significant number from his herd.
“Basically the effect was pretty much harsh because at the end of the day it is a financial loss and you know you have to wait sometimes 2-3 years for the animal to develop to a certain poundage so you could gain maximum profit so to have to lose over 100 animals within mothers, calf, bulls that’s very devastating but even so reluctant, I still come out Farmer of the year so imagine producing that amount of beef, what is losing over 100 animals. So it just shows that there is room for improvement and if you really put your all into it you could really reach where you want to reach”, Humble explained.
As an experienced producer of beef and mutton, Humble Dread used the opportunity to share words of advice to those persons interested in livestock farming.
“I would say to the young famers that Agriculture is life. As one farmer said, it is we first life so at the same time it is not just a duck walk. If you are going to come into Agriculture as a youngster, make up your mind for hard work. You got to love hard work, you got to be willing to sweat and might I remind you that sweating is actually toxins so that’s a good thing and you are in the sun so that’s vitamin D so that’s a plus. But seriously on a serious note though, if you are coming into Agriculture, from what I have witnessed, don’t look for help. I say there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of subsidies so I would say to the youngsters them if you coming in, make up your mind to do it out your pocket, make up your mind to have a strong heart and just push because at the end of the day if you’re waiting for someone to push you, you are going to fail”, he explained.
The farmer said following his loss, he hopes to receive wire for goats, which he says will increase his mutton production.
He thanked the Ministry of Agriculture for rewarding his efforts and naming him “Livestock Farmer of the Year”.