BEATING THE ODDS 2016
A monthly supplement to The Delmarva Farmer
Hoff overcomes tragic tractor injury to operate farm store
NEW WINDSOR, Md. — Trevor Hoff and Victoria Robinson are “bringing the farm to city people” with their Local Homestead Products on-farm store and a ‘pick your own’ operation, despite the fact that 24 year old Trevor was badly injured in a tractor accident ten years ago on July 21, 2006.
“I was driving a 484 International tractor with a load of hay to feed the cattle, and when I stopped and got off at the silo, the tractor broke out of park,” Hoff said, describing what happened that fateful day.
“It pulled my leg under, ran over my hips and broke my pelvic bone in half. It grabbed my shirt pulling my face under the bottom and broke every bone from my chin to my eye sockets.”
At that point, his body went into shock and everything went into slow motion, Hoff said.
“I remember everything slowed, then went back to normal. I didn’t feel what was happening but I knew something was wrong.”
A friend who was working with him ran and got Trevor’s dad and a corn salesman who happened to be there, Jeff Fritz, who was also a firefighter, recognized his difficulties and called a helicopter which took Trevor to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Hoff’s chin was pushed to one side and his nose to the other.
“At that point, they weren’t sure if I’d ever walk again and they knew I would have a long road to recovery,” Hoff said.
He was in and out of recovery for several months and by mid-November 2006, he was walking. He has seven plates and thirty-seven screws in his face, and two plates and seven screws in his hips. Looking at him today, there is little outward indication of his injuries.
“I wasn’t going to let that define who I was,” Hoff said.
“It was my freshman year in high school and I ended up missing the first semester, but I decided I was going to grow up and take control.
“Tractor and farm accidents are something usually not talked about,” Hoff added. “I was one of the lucky ones. I could have allowed it to control me, but I didn’t.”
Hoff is now a youth representative for Farm Safety 4 Just Kids, a group that helps to get the word out about farm safety.
“We make materials to help teach them, and have speaking engagements to make youth aware of the dangers in farming.
“It’s one way I have returned the favor of my survival. When it comes to farm accidents, you never hear about the success stories, just the bad ones.”
The Hoff farm consists of 90 acres, Trevor said, and field crops, produce, pumpkins, flowers, chickens for meat and eggs, beef and turkeys are all grown and sold there. The on-farm store has been in operation since 2011.
Trevor and Victoria met through FFA in 2009. Victoria was Maryland State FFA vice president and Trevor served two years as his chapter president.
“The Pick-Your-Own operation is our way of bringing the farm to city people,” Hoff said. “Fifty or 60 years ago, most people had a grandfather or a grandmother who grew up on the farm and they knew something about farming from them. Today we don’t have that. People need to understand we have a great deal of farmers working every day to provide food for the people of this great country.”