St Bess four-year-old farmer means business

In Bethsalem District, St Elizabeth, four-year-old Oneil Grant, otherwise known as Chris, tends to his goats, rabbits, chickens and crops with a fearless and tenacious spirit.

‘Chat Jamaican with Tania’ stumbled upon Chris during the YouTube channel curator’s annual visit to her grandmother’s grave in the parish. “While I was at the graveside, I saw this little boy in the bush pulling and tying out the goat. I soon met his grandma and shared my surprise at seeing him and she say, ‘Yes man, him a big farmer!’,” noted Tania Pryce.

Grandmother Beverley Brown was pleased with the interest expressed in Chris and allowed Tania to feature him handling his farm routine on her YouTube page which showcases Jamaicans in their element.

Brown shared that after a cup of hot Milo or cocoa tea, she and her grandson head out to begin their day on the farm together. With a tradition of farming dating back to her grandparents, Brown reminisced with delight on how Chris first started to show interest in farming last year when he was only three years old. “A mawnin time when him wake, him seh to mi, ‘Mama, weh yuh ago do?’ and mi seh mi ago tie out di goat dem. Him tek mi bwoyfren wata boots and put on, and me and him go tie out di goat dem and come back,” she said.

In response to his strong interest, Brown set aside a goat specifically for Chris and notes that he takes particular interest in caring for that one. Despite his small stature, Chris has a firm command of his animals, demonstrating that he means business as he musters all his strength to wrangle the goats and chickens.

As far as schooling goes, like most other students in the pandemic, Chris is participating in school online. Though he lives with his mother, he so enjoys life on the farm that he often asks that his assignments be sent to Brown for him to complete so that he can spend more time caring for the animals. Not one to disappoint, mom Christine Dawkins often complies with his request.

“He loves the animals. There is this drive and passion inside of him that gives him the motivation to be a great four-year-old farmer,” Dawkins shared.

Having seen the little farmer featured on Chat Jamaican, Hi-Pro stepped up and offered some much-needed assistance to help encourage him in the field.

On Monday, March 14, 2021, Hi-Pro technical representative Nigel Alexander and Marketing Communications Officer Justine Bailey presented the grandmother-grandson duo with 50 baby chicks and the feed to raise them. They also donated waterers, feeders, tarpaulin and other items towards refurbishing their chicken coop.