“We are the last generation, and it’s a sad reality, because this area has been growing in population and the sprawl from the greater Houston area is moving towards us literally every single day, and we’ve got subdivisions that are going up around us.”
What about selling the family place and looking for a different place to farm?
“People say, well you went off to college and got these different degrees. You’re kind of a highly educated farmer, but it’s part of what we do. That’s what’s been part of my family for so long, so moving to somewhere else isn’t even what you begin to think of.”
Hegar believes agriculture will still be important to Texas.
“I think Texas will continue as an agricultural state, but it’s not going to be to the same degree as it is today. It’s not the same degree as it was literally 50 or 100 years ago.”
And when he looks in his crystal ball he sees a warning.
“If we can’t grow that food here at home, and if drought or other serious conditions hit other countries, guess what? They’re going to keep the food there. They’re not going to send it to us.”
He’s quick to use the oil industry as an example.
“Used to we produced a tremendous amount of energy, oil, here in this country and today we don’t. Today we’re so dependent on other countries and what has that done?
“That could happen with our food supply, too. We can go without driving our cars, but we can’t go without eating.”
Hegar intends to farm his family’s land as long as he can.