The NFU Online website reports that a new Twitter account created by a Member of the Guild is proving popular with farmers and non-farmers alike.
@FarmersOfTheUK features a week in the life of a different farmer every week; among the non-farming people following the account are broadcasters Dermot O’Leary and BBC Countryfilepresenter Julia Bradbury.
The imaginative Twitter account was started in January this year by Simon Hayley – co-founder of the successful AgriChatUK forum on Twitter – and by early March had accumulated a following of nearly 6,000 people.
“I set up the account because I wanted more of the public to see the wide variety of challenges within farming and the types of things that happen on a daily basis,” says Simon. “The response from both those within the farming community on Twitter and from consumers has been amazing. I’ve already booked up every week with a different farmer for the rest of the year.”
He believes this shows how farmers have come to realise potential for using Twitter to promote the industry as a whole and to showcase individual businesses.
To date, @FarmersOfTheUK has taken followers through many experiences on farms including lambing, spring drilling and farm repairs. Sectors such as herbs, flowers, arable, dairy, turkeys and farm diversification are booked in for later this the year.
David Burden, a beef farmer in Kent, tweeted pictures and comments as one of his cows produced a calf. He gave a ‘live’ account of the process and in other tweets he explained what goes into the cattle feed, described the equipment they use and reported in general about life on farm.
“The account has one objective – to allow an insight into farming behind the farm gate, and one that is real and honest and emotive,” says Simon. “So far, it is definitely achieving that and much more.”