US Farmer Focus writer loses battle with cancer

Our American Farmer Focus writer Brian Hind died late last month after a 15-month battle with the rare cancer disease liposarcoma. His family farmed 1,250ha of prairie land in Kansas.

Brian gave us a valuable insight into farming on the great plains of middle America, writing about his views on overpriced land in Kansas and the lack of honesty from politicians.

See also: Read Brian’s previous pieces

Clearly there are differences between farming on either sides of the Atlantic, but also some similar issues that infuriate and engage farmers, and Brian wrote about these with clarity and amusement.

Brian pondered whether Farmers Weekly could start a contest among the English-speaking farmers of the world to identify the dumbest politician. He suggested someone from Kansas would win.

He and his wife Amy started a vegetable garden just after they were married 10 years ago. He hauled in a large load of manure into their garden and with it plenty of weed seeds, and then had to battle weeds almost non-stop.

Their venture into the egg industry saw him buy 30 hens, but he then found out nearly every other person in rural Kansas had eggs for sale and they were undercut on price by a neighbour.

The truth of the matter, he concluded, is that there is nothing easy about raising your own food, and the more members of the public who learn that, the better off farmers will be.

Brian was born 7 May 1968 in Emporia, Kansas, the son of James and Carol Beemer Hind, and while still in high school, Brian took agricultural courses, where he was recognised as the “Outstanding Agricultural Student” of his class.

He would go on to earn a bachelor of science in education from Emporia State University. He served with the Madison Fire Department for a decade, was on the district school board for two terms and was serving his second term as a Greenwood County commissioner.

Brian Douglas Hind, aged 49, died on 29 December 2017, and a service to remember his life was held on 4 January 2018. Brian married the “love of his life”, Amy Prather, on 23 June 23 2007 in Madison, Kansas, and had a son, Nathan William Hind.