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This Ontario man is a 4th generation farmer — and 1st in his family to teach millions about the work

Hayden Fox, 25, is the fourth generation to work his family's farm outside of Cayuga, Ont., — but he's the first to film himself doing it. (Submitted by Hayden Fox - image credit)
Hayden Fox may be the fourth generation to work his family’s farm, but he’s the first in his family to teach millions of others about agricultural life. 

Fox has close to two million followers on the social media platform TikTok, where he makes comedic videos about his day-to-day life working on his farm — from an explanation on why a bag of seed corn might be worth more than your car to making light of his early wake-up time and practical farming clothes, all the while full of energy, laughter and a bit of sarcasm.

“If you just try to shove farming and education down people’s throats, I don’t think they really want it,” he said. “I love comedy and I just think that people connect with comedy.”

Fox said he’s been working his family’s farm just outside of Cayuga, Ont., “pretty much since the day I was born.”

Last month, the 25-year-old said he bought the farm from his grandfather.

Helping LGBT farmers feel seen

His videos get personal, too.

An important part of his life, Fox said, is his identity as a queer man, but he said coming to terms with his sexuality growing up in rural Ontario wasn’t easy.

“I just had a really hard time with it,” he said.

“I didn’t really want to showcase that on TikTok, but as I got more comfortable with it, I was like, ‘You know what? I really struggled with this when I was younger and I know there’s probably a lot of people out there that struggle with this.'”

He said he wants his videos to allow other LGBT people in the farming community feel seen and included.

Submitted by Hayden Fox
“Once I showed that side of me and I realized there were a lot of people out there like me… I felt it was really important to add it because I did realize there was a lot of people out there that felt really disconnected from the community,” he said. 

His biggest fan

Fox is a man of many hats — he’s a farmer, a Haldimand County volunteer firefighter, a University of Guelph food and agriculture grad and, of course, a TikTok influencer.

But as Fox said TikTok doesn’t pay Canadian influencers for garnering a large following, like it does for users in the United States, his videos are just for fun and education.

“To me, TikTok is just a hobby,” he said.

Submitted by Hayden Fox
The biggest fan of his videos, Fox said, is his mother, Wendy Fox. 

She told CBC Hamilton she’s been watching them since Fox began posting in 2020, but she originally didn’t know what the app was.

“I got an account just so I could watch. He’s the only one that I actually follow on there,” she said.

Wendy said her son has “always been dramatic” but he has really allowed his funny side show through his videos.

“He’s kind of been more comfortable with himself. We always knew he was like that, but I think with [TikTok] he realized, ‘Oh, other people find me funny too’,” she told CBC Hamilton.

“He’s had a lot of people that say that they’ve learned quite a bit about farming from him, even though he’s doing stuff in a jokingly way.”

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