Ag Homestead Fair cultivates knowledge

NTCC Ag club member Maria Torreblanca displays packets of seeds that she received during the seed swap at the Homestead Fair. The seed swap is always one of the most popular activities held during the event. Hundreds of seed packets were swapped among those attending.

By Liliana Torreblanca
Eagle Editor 

This year’s homestead fair took place in early March  on the Northeast Texas Community College Ag Complex. This is the second time that the farm has hosted homestead fair.  

The NTCC Ag department  partnered with Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education to host the event, which included various activities to improve the communities knowledge on agriculture. 

Members of the community had the opportunity to learn how to build healthy soil, gardening basics, greenhouse growing, backyard poultry and goat meat production. The event was completely free to the public.

McCracken, far right, introduces keynote speakers Jerica and Matt Codman during the Homestead Fair.

McCracken was able to bring keynote speakers Matt and Jerica Codman from Shady Grove Ranch in Jefferson, Texas to speak to the attendees.  The Codmans are sustainable farmers who have gone through many challenges. 

Mr. Codman faced ulcerative colitis, a serious health issue, that according to doctors could end his life. He said thanks to discovering the benefits of grass-fed dairy and beef he was able to surpass the doctors’ prognosis and now the couple are able to share their story with others. 

They also have created branches in Shreveport, Jefferson, Longview, Tyler, and Marshall Texas where they produce grass fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, chickens, pork, and turkey with no hormones, no cides, no GMOs and no soy. For more information on the Codman Family visit their website,

Those attending enjoy a meal of chicken stew and cornbread prepared by the Ag club members.

The Ag club contributed a lunch of chicken stew, cornbread, tea and cookies. Another popular activity held during the event, and one of the most anticipated, was the seed swap offering members of the community an opportunity to bring their favorite seeds to swap with others. 

During the lunch break the soil health documentary “Kiss the Ground” was featured during the homestead fair. 

The documentary explains the potential of agriculture and how community members can combat climate change through sustainable practices. The film dives into how healthy soil plays a crucial role in controlling carbon dioxide and how agriculture can help the atmosphere by keeping the soil healthy. 

“Kiss The Ground” aims to inspire its audience to take action to keep soils and pastures healthy on both large and small farms. Even small gardens are part of the soil that can help fight climate change and keep the earth healthy. The film has won a total of 25 awards, including the London Independent Film award, the DOC LA Storyteller Award, and many more.  For more information on the NTCC ag department and future events, visit or email