This pig is one of two that freshman Edgard Rodriguez takes care of. His name is Bacon. The other pig is named Chonchi.

Submitted Photo

Student Takes Care of Family Farm

January 24, 2018

When Edgard Rodriguez gets home from school, he feeds and cares for a variety of livestock, including pigs, goats and chickens.

Rodriguez is a ninth grader at Poinciana, but his responsibility to care for the animals on his family’s farm exceeds the household chores of the average teenager.

The farm spans across two acres of land and is home to a variety of animals consisting of goats, pigs, ducks, chickens and much more.

Edgard Rodriguez

His family’s collection of animals all began with chickens and then goats, followed by multiple others.

“We didn’t plan to get the farm,” said Rodriguez. “My dad just got some baby chickens and then it kept growing.”

One memory that Rodriguez has with the animals was during a family dinner. The goats were on ropes so that they could roam but managed to escape. This resulted in the goats feasting on the family dinner.

The health and the care of the animals is monitored by Rodriguez when he checks on them every day after school.

For Hurricane Irma, Rodriguez and his family had to prepare.

They built a larger structure that could sustain hurricane strength winds for the goats so they would have shelter along with a larger coop to house the chickens.

As a result of Irma, the farm had minor flooding and broken branches across the property.

Rodriguez and his family also lost power for one week.

Rodriguez’s farm is located in Kissimmee; however, it was not always there.

His family used to own a farm in Saint Cloud before they moved on this side of the county.

His parents also hold a large responsibility as owners of the farm.

Edgardo Rodriguez, Edgard’s father, works on the farm and tends to injured animals, while his mother, Jeannette Reyes, will occasionally feed the animals in the morning while Edgard is in school.

The farm life has been a big change for Rodriguez, who was used to the fast paced city life in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

“I used to have a city boy life, but I learned how to work hard in the sun,” said Rodriguez. “It taught me to be more responsible.”

Due to living on the farm, Rodriguez is used to the calm and hard working environment which is very different to the fast paced life in the city.

“I would feel out of place in the city now,” said Rodriguez.

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