The Farmer’s Father

The Farmer’s Father

A blind father in Maine dedicates his life to helping his daughter convert their family home to a working farm.

Steve Hode and his wife bought land in rural Windsor, Maine 25 years ago, with hopes that someday it would be farmed again. Now their daughter Rose has decided to convert the property to a working farm and her parents are committed to helping make that dream come true.

The family raises turkeys, geese, ducks, hens, pigs and rabbits as well as running a local produce stand. Rose chose to name the farm “Emma’s Family Farm,” for her sister Emma who drowned in 1983. Her parents gave the name their blessing. “We will always be Emma’s family,” Hode says.

Steve Hold is blind but this is far from a story about his disability. Hold says it is unfortunate when he is treated as somehow special because of his blindness rather than simply a human in society. His life was shaped by family and teachers, he says, who emphasized the words “can, should and need to” rather than “can’t.”

This video profile, featured on The Digital Journalist (, was produced by Phillis Graber Jensen at the 2008 Platypus Workshop in New Orleans, and was distinguished with the “Best Edit” award.

The Platypus Workshops are intensive 9-day digital video training programs, conducted under the tutelage of decorated photojournalist Dirck Halstead, the editor and publisher of The Digital Journalist.

Length: 5:27

Produced by Phillis Graber Jensen