Farm family featured in new CBC documentary

·2 min read

A former Lakefield resident and her family are featured in a new CBC documentary called “Year of the Goat.”Kristen Holyoake and her three children, along with four other families who raise and show goats, are featured in the documentary.After being contacted by CBC last June, Holyoake said she thought being a part of the documentary would be a great opportunity to showcase farming in a more positive light. “There’s a lot of misinformation from animal activists and that’s what tends to be in the media. So, I thought it was really important to participate for the fact that I wanted to have people see that the people that are out there working their butts off to go to these shows, are not the ones who are mistreating their animals,” she said.The film is a look inside all five families’ lives and their farms, Holyoake said. “They filmed numerous days between last June to November, so they got every look inside our homes and our farms and everything. We weren’t hiding anything,” she said.All of the families involved know one another, Holyoake said.“It’s a pretty tight-knit community. Even though we’re from all across Ontario and don’t show at all the same shows, we kind of intertwine at different shows throughout the province throughout the year, and then we all meet at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto too,” she said.Holyoake said she recently moved from her half-acre property outside Peterborough, where she bred goats and chickens for the last seven years, to a 75-acre farm in Bancroft. Because of several health issues she’s experienced, Holyoake said, she started homesteading because she realized what she used in and on her body affected her pain level and how she functioned.Children who grow up on farms learn to process their emotions earlier on, Holyoake said.“A lot of parents don’t want their kids to have to face dealing with death. They protect them from those things. That’s just a natural response as parents, I think. But on farms, you don’t get that often,” she said. “Kids are raised knowing that animals get sick, they die and that things happen. I think that it helps them learn to deal with those emotions and hard feelings earlier on.”To watch the documentary, visit Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email:

Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner