By the time he was 25 years of age, Fred W. Hodson had established a reputation as an outstanding farmer and livestock breeder. Being community minded, he believed in sharing his knowledge and experience with his fellow farmers. Impressed by his ability, William Weld, the founder of the Farmer’s Advocate, induced him to become associate editor of the paper in 1880. Within two years he returned to the farm because of ill health. Upon his recovery, he returned to the Farmer’s Advocate as editor, in 1887.
While occupying that position, he emphasized the necessity for livestock breeders to organize. Largely as a result of his efforts, the Dominion Sheep Breeders’ Association was formed in 1889, and the Dominion Sheep Breeders’ in 1890. Shortly thereafter he resigned from the Advocate to become secretary of these two associations. Later in the decade, he also became secretary of the Farmer’s Institute and the Provincial Winter Fair.
In 1899 Mr. Hodson became Canada’s first Livestock Commissioner. In that role he initiated many livestock improvement policies, including record of performance for dairy cattle. He also introduced a number of worthwhile policies at shows and exhibitions and played a leading role in organizing winter fairs in the Maritimes and western Canada.
Perhaps his greatest achievement took place in 1905 when he succeeded in persuading the livestock associations to consolidate their registration facilities. This resulted in the formation of the Canadian National Live Stock Records, an organization that he directed until his retirement from public life.