GENERATIONS OF GROWTH
For most students in high school, they have no idea what they want to do after they graduate. Grant Hudnall, a young farmer in the community of Riverside, KY, knew what he wanted to do since elementary school: farming. Hudnall has been working on his 10th generation family farm alongside his father and grandfather since he was 6 years old. While currently working as a mechanic on all of the farm equipment and livestock transportation vehicles, Hudnall works up to twelve hours a day throughout the week. “I get to do practically everything on the farm, I’m pretty much like the everything man. If something’s wrong, I’m gonna be there to help and at least try to fix it. If a pipe bursts at 7 at night then I don’t leave until it’s fixed. I still really do love it though. Honestly, I’d do it for free,” Hudnall said.
The Hudnall family owns over 1,000 acres in land in Riverside, Kentucky and produces corn and wheat while also maintaining hogs. “My great grandpa settled here with his wife and they had my grandad and his siblings right over there...” said Hudnall as he pointed to a small, red wooden building on the farm, “Then my grandad and grandma took over the farm and built a family here too. My dad came along with his siblings and they decided to pursue other things and all my dad wanted to do was take over the farm,” Hudnall said.
The Hudnall family - (from left) Benji, Grant, Jerry R. and Gale. “I was about 6 years old or so in this picture. We got our picture taken by the Daily News and my family has kept it ever since. I’ve been driving tractors pretty much my whole life. When it finally came time for me to learn how to drive the big trucks so we could drive the corn and grain back and forth, my dad handed the steering wheel over to me and said ‘Teach yourself,’” Hudnall said.
Hudnall works in his garage workshop to replace a tire on one of the farm’s transportation trucks.
Hudnall drives around with his dog, Murray, on the farm. Murray was a graduation gift from Grant to his fiance ́, Leah, after she graduated from Murray State University in May. “I got him for Leah for her graduation present but honestly he follows me around and hangs out with me more. He’s my buddy,” Hudnall said.
Grant jokes with his fiance ́, Leah, about giving her a hug after sweating and getting oil on his hands while working in the garage all afternoon.
Grant eats a quick lunch containing two tortillas with turkey in the middle, a bag of Fritos chips, and a Dr. Pepper to drink while working on the farm.
Grant sits down to take a break after combining corn throughout the day. “We’ll be out here combining from 6 in the morning until probably midnight. We usually don’t stop for anything, and if we eat our food is packed in the combiners with us,” Hudnall said.
Grant Hudnall jokes with his grandpa, Jerry Hudnall, after adding oil to the tractor on their family farm. “You better be careful there, that tractor is gonna be the death of us one day. We’ve gotta keep up with that thing” Hudnall said.
“I’m next in line to take over the farm… I’ve been doing this for forever it feels like. My dad use to check me out of school when I was maybe 8 years old so I could come work on the farm with him,” Hudnall said.
Grant wipes sweat off of his face with his t-shirt after working at the farm all day. “All I’ve ever wanted to do was farming. In high school I just bubbled in a Christmas tree for my ACT test because I knew I wasn’t going to college. I knew I wanted to live here and do what my dad and grandpa have always done… Leah wants a little girl after we get married but I keep telling her I don’t care if we have a boy or a girl I just want them to be able to come out on the farm with me,” Hudnall said.