Matt Hughes

Matt Hughes is the owner and operator of Oak Isle Farm and Hughes Forestry, based out of Kelly’s Cross, PEI. Matt grew up on his family’s dairy farm, and ever since he was very young he envisioned himself being a farmer when he grew up. Matt followed a path in the trades and then worked for the PEI Federation of Agriculture for several years while farming on the side; he is now expanding his farm, and currently farming & running his forestry business full time. Matt is very fortunate to have his dad as his closest farming neighbor, so he still gets to work with him.

Name: Matt Hughes

 

Occupation: Farm owner of Oak Isle Farm

 

 

What does your job entail? 

I have a flock of sheep which are raised using an intensive grazing system, they are moved 1-2 times a day from May until December. The lambs are primarily raised for meat. We also ship our wool to MacAuslands Woolen Mill. I grow 3 acres of pumpkins, which are directed marketed, and one acre of asparagus, all for fresh market. I also have a small forestry business, which focuses on sustainable forest management.

 

How long have you been involved in agriculture\food industry on PEI? 

Basically my whole life, so 31 years this week! I have only been working under my own title for about 5 years. I have worked on farms on and off my whole life, and worked for the PEI Federation of Agriculture for a period of time. 

What is your education/ experience prior to entering your current job? 

I have a Diploma in Welding from NSCC, and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Dalhousie University in Truro. 

 

Are you involved in any extracurricular or community activities? 

Currently, I am a board member for the PEI Federation of Agriculture as well as the PEI Sheep Breeders Association. 

Photo Credit: Crystal Fullerton

What’s your favourite way to eat…Lamb/ Asparagus  – whatever they grow?

Lamb Masala (an indian dish), and I love asparagus fried up with black pepper and butter. 

 

When you were a kid, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to be a farmer. I would imagine it began when my father was able to leave me in the corner of a field with a few toy tractors, while he worked the land.  

 

What would you want consumers to know about your business and the agriculture/food industry? 

Our farm wouldn’t be possible without great friends and family. From busy planting days, silage season, harvesting and now working in the woods. Friends and family are our number one asset.

Pay attention to where your food comes from.

And use common sense when your purchase your groceries. 

 

Why do you do what you do? 

I love it, that’s why I am a farmer. Some days are definitely frustrating (like most careers) but I definitely love it. Farming is a career that you have to love, to stick with it, there are a lot of ups and downs. And sometimes it is 24 hours a day, seven days a week . You absolutely have to have a passion for it.    

 

 

Photo Credit: Crystal Fullerton