Sharing the charm of dairy farming to the next generation
Kazuya Hishinuma did not plan to inherit his family’s dairy farm during his younger years. He even decided to go to a high school far from home, thinking that his help was not necessary. But it was actually during high school when he met many other boys from dairy farming families, something that helped sparked a change in his mentality.
One of the biggest turning points for him was the dairy farm training he experienced during junior college. At the farm where we interned, he was impressed at how the old farmer seemed to enjoy his work, and he found it fun working with him. As they milked the cows and cleaned the barns, he learned many different things that made him realize the charm of dairy farming. It was during this time that he decided to go back to Tsurui Village and succeed his family’s dairy farm.
Established in 1918, the Hishinuma Farm has a history of over 100 years, and Kazuya is the fourth generation to take the reins. Four family units currently live and work together at the farm, including Kazuya’s parents and the families of his two brothers. Kazuya took over the business management of the farm several years ago, and he finds it to be a fulfilling role. He feels a sense of pride and accomplishment whenever the farm meets its yearly goals.
The milk of Hishinuma Farm is used to make the cheese and dishes served at Farm Restaurant Heart’n Tree is Tsurui. Dairy farmers rarely get to meet the people who consume their milk, so Kazuya finds it stimulating to hear reviews about the food from customers. The restaurant owner sometimes holds parties for guests and villagers, and it makes Kazuya very happy when guests tell him how delicious the milk and cheese is.
Being born and raised in Tsurui Village, it’s easy to take for granted, but Kazuya always feels that Tsurui is a good and comfortable place to live in. One of the benefits he enjoys the most is the ease of raising children. The village subsidizes medical expenses for children, and the government listens to the voice of the people during council meetings. Education is also a high priority, and Tsurui Village has maintained a high academic level in its schools. Kazuya regards this as a great advantage, especially as Tsurui’s location makes it difficult to send children to cram schools for supplementary learning.
Kazuya is currently enjoying life as a business owner and as a parent, but he has also started thinking about how to hand over the farm to his heirs. He enjoys his work as a dairy farmer, and he wants his children to feel the same way when the time comes. Which is why he strives to make his farm a great place to work in, with the hope that one day, his children will decide on their own to succeed the family business.