A New Way to Harvest - J.J. Hoover

I love the fall. I don’t know if it’s because we get a break after a busy season or because of the weather, but I have always loved it.  But this year, my fall looks a little bit different. . .


My wife and I recently bought a farm in Ohio, where we plan to raise grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chickens, so each day I’ve been working hard trying to learn how to get it up and running. It’s all completely new to us. Neither of us grew up on a farm—or in Ohio, for that matter—but I’ve always wanted a big piece of land.


But it’s not easy work, and there’s a new experience at every turn. Last week we bought a 95-horsepower tractor, which I was a little intimidated to learn how to drive. Day one on that thing, I was driving along brush hogging at three miles an hour and it felt like a hundred. That was a pretty big learning curve, and I know there are many more to come.


As I mentioned, I’ve always wanted to own a big piece of land, but the lazy, slothful side of me always pictured myself spending my days relaxing and hunting on it. More recently, the Lord has put a different goal on my heart.


Today’s food is not ideal—it’s not nutrient-dense, and I have a vision to raise very healthy, natural food so that I can help people in need. I know from experience that people perform better—their whole life is better—when they’re eating good, clean food. That’s what I hope to make available to more people than can get it now.


A few years down the road, when we’re able to start processing some beef, my wife and I plan to start a ministry with our farm. Our hope is to create strong connections within our new community, get plugged into a church, and find local families that have a need. Then we can bring them beef, eggs, fruits, and vegetables from our farm, giving us an open door to share the Gospel with them through both our actions and our words. We can hardly wait to build these relationships and minister to our new neighbors.


“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” —John 13:34


This is a completely different platform from the one I have in baseball, but both arenas are equally important to me because these are the places where God has called me to serve Him. Years ago, I had no idea that I would be a farmer, but I’m very thankful that God has put this on my heart. My wife is also excited to be a part of this and supports me 100%.


While farming is new and exciting for me, it’s a very slow process. In today’s society—especially in the game of baseball—everything is fast-paced. I, along with the rest of our generation, am very susceptible to searching for instant gratification, but farming has been a great tool to teach me how to slow down and be patient for results.


Though it will take time for our ministry to get up and running, I already see relationships being formed through the process of purchasing cows and equipment. God’s opening doors for my wife and me to share His love with others, and in the meantime, He’s teaching us how to rely more on Him. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in the future as we continue to say “yes” to God’s call for our lives.


“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” —Acts 20:35


—J.J. Hoover


J.J. Hoover is a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.


Check out J.J.’s full profile on The Increase: https://theincrease.com/author/jj-hoover/


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