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Generations of history at Flint Family Farm

By April 26, 2024No Comments
Fourth-generation farmer David Flint welcomed the Source to his farm last week. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source 

 

Be it early-morning cattle checks from the air in his Cessna 150 or hours spent combining in the field, David Flint loves being a farmer.

At 70 years young, the Jack-of-all-trades has dabbled in a few careers throughout his life, but his true passion has always been the farm.

A fourth-generation farmer himself, Flint was born and raised on the family farm, located 26 minutes southeast of the Border City just north of Paradise Valley. 

The history-rich property has been in the family since it was first homesteaded and he’s thankful he can work the land today with his wife, Mary, and son, Jason, who’s branched off into the unpasteurized honey business with his wife, Songshan.

“The farm was started in 1912 when my great grandfather first homesteaded here after coming over from England,” said Flint. 

“He was already in his 50s when he came over, one of the very few his age to make the journey.

“They built a wood-framed house, which was really strange because most just had sod huts, but it was a fairly nice house for 1912, and it was the place where all of the county meetings were held. My grandfather homesteaded the quarry behind that soon after and leased the three-quarters of crown land across the road and bought 60 cows.”

All these years later, Flint Family Farms continues to operate as a cattle and grain farm with Flint looking after 100 cows and over 1,000 acres of grain and Mary piloting the semi for transport.

“I have about 100 cows, which right now is about 200 cows because I just finished calving,” he said.

“Calving was good this year, the weather was really good, I had a good bull for the heifers this year; things went really well.

“I seed 1,000 acres of my own and then 250 for my son, and he gives back labour to pay for that, and most of the bee yards are actually quite a distance from here; we have to be careful with pesticides and stuff.”

For Flint, the phrase ‘Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never work a day in your life’ rings true, and his passion for farming was evident from a young age.

“I’m very thankful I ended up being a farmer and was born and raised out here,” he said. 

“Getting into farming had a lot to do with my grandfather … I never liked school, it was like going to jail, and I used to spend entire days with my grandfather getting a load of hay back home, and that was a day’s work; I loved it.”

One thing Flint has noticed throughout his years on the farm is the ever-changing world of technology, something he’s doing a standup job keeping up with.

“Things have changed so much, whether it’s the size of the hay bales, the technology, you name it. It’s unbelievable how things have changed,” he said.

“The GPS is nice; I love the GPS. You can set that, and you don’t have to drive the tractor, that’s great. Now, with technology, the dealer knows more about the tractor than you do. I used to rebuild tractors; I’ve rebuilt motors on the old tractors and nobody would ever come out to the farm, and now, if we could just get things that were simpler, it would be easier.”

With technology causing the most headache for Flint, he explained the satisfying part of his day is checking cattle by horse or combining.

“They’re both very satisfying, but it’s all satisfying, I love all of it. I enjoy farming.”

When it comes to successfully running a cattle and grain operation, Flint explained experience can play a big factor.

“Experience can play into it quite a bit. There’s just so much you have to know, so growing up on a farm and in that environment can really help,” he said.

As far as advice for future generations, Flint noted the importance of staying with the times and adapting to changes. 

“When we first got married it was hard, and we worked hard then, but now that everything’s paid for, I’m in a unique situation. I haven’t bought land lately and when I recently bought a new tractor, I paid cash for it, I don’t borrow for anything anymore,” he said. 

“I’m computer-challenged,” he added with a laugh. “I actually just bought my first smartphone. I’ve had flip phones for years and I just got a smartphone a few weeks ago, and I’m not enjoying it,” he noted, laughing.