Lou MacDonald

As a very small family run pig & poultry farm, and new entrant farmers, we were thrilled when offered an opportunity to host a week on Farmers of the UK for #aweekinyourwellies.

We had the date marked down on our calender for our week slot, and we were very keen to tell the Farmers of the UK audience about who we are and what we do. 

When the time came to host our week in July 2016, we were eager to tell our story as a 1st generation farming family with 3 young children. We were able to highlight not only the challenges and struggles we had encountered over the past 7 years, but also the joys and rewards farming can bring. 

Hosting a week on FOTUK with its large audience connected us with a lot of other farming families far and wide, most of which we probably would have never met.

We are still in contact with many of the farmers we met on FOTUK, and we talk to some of them regularly for advise, support, and their wealth of knowledge... and the occasional laughs! 

Social media is such a valuable tool for farmers in this modern day and age. It has certainly benefited us over the years, with a large percentage of our product sales being generated through adverts on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

It is also ideal to connect businesses with their customers with its instant messaging. My husband Matt was having a conversation about selling stock with a group of farmers some time ago, and the general consensus was that most farmers struggle to market themselves and their produce. Lets face it, farmers are very busy people!

In the UK we have some fantastic produce including dairy, meat, fruit and veg, but a lot of it goes unnoticed by local consumers. If only there was a way to get it out there... but there is! 

Twitter in particular is an ideal social media site for the farming community, as a 'tweet' takes a few seconds to do. We recently 'tweeted' a video of a giant egg produced by one of our laying hens, and when we cracked it open another egg plopped out!! It created so much interest we were contacted by two local news teams, and subsequently the Daily Mail and the BBC, and it even featured on the local BBC evening news! Our video received 16k views on BBC Wiltshire online in less than 12 hours! The power of social media! 

Simon Haley has created the ideal opportunity for farmers to promote themselves through Farmers of the UK. A different farmer each week gets a head start in promoting their farm, their methods, their produce and everything else they're about to a broad & varied audience of people across the nation. 

We would heartily recommend all farmers to give it a go, regardless of how hopeless they are on social media! It's so easy to do, and there are so many people willing to help you along.

You will meet so many fantastic people, and if nothing else it is a real fun #weekinyourwellies!