Young farm entrepreneur turns passion for farming into a business

AUBURN, Maine — One 12-year-old boy in Maine has turned his passion for farming into a business. He grows, raises, and cares for animals that he eventually sells.

He might not be able to drive a car for four more years, but 12-year-old Brayden Nadeau always knew he wanted to be behind the wheel of a tractor.

So two years ago, he started his first farm stand.

“I’ve been farming my whole life. As long as I could remember, I was on his lap steering the tractors and running the bucket,” Nadeau said.

His grandfather, Dan Herrick, has always had a farm at his home, but never more than a way to feed his family.

Now, Nadeau essentially runs the family farm himself and has grown it even in the last few years, opening a farm stand for the community.

He starts his vegetables from seed and raises livestock – turkeys and chickens for meat and eggs and pigs for both meat and breeding.

“Get this itty bitty seed and it turns into something like that which is huge and I just think that’s amazing,” Nadeau said.

Nadeau works 12 hours a day, 7 days a week in the summer.

He’s outgrown the original farm stand he and his grandfather made two years ago and made enough money to buy a new one.

He also invested in tools for the farm and learned how to fix things if and when they break.

“There ought to be more 12-year-olds like him,” said Herrick.

He says he thinks he’s learning a lot more out in the fields than he would be sitting in front of a TV.

“I think it’s better because you get more of an experience and it’s life preparation I guess,” Nadeau said.

“It teaches him business, it teaches him how to work, it teaches him to stay out of trouble, it teaches him where food comes from, and it teaches him that without farmers, there’s no food,” Herrick said.

With the help of his grandparents he has learned how to farm and raise animals.

He also has homemade zucchini bread and zucchini relish, made by members of his family and the Auburn community with vegetables straight from his garden.

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