I took the baton of the Farmers of the UK account for a week in November 2015 tweeting from our dairy farm in Lancashire. I regularly tweet from my own account (@cathmorley for anyone who might fancy following me!) about goings on our farm and thought doing a week on FOTUK would be a great opportunity to get our story out there to more people and generally help to promote a positive image of dairy farming to the public.
I had a great week and thoroughly enjoyed it, the interest from followers about what we were doing was really amazing, some of the things we do on a day to day basis and probably take for granted were favourited and retweeted many, many times. We were asked all kinds of questions, some of which I had to think very carefully about before answering (!) and my plan of tweeting about a different aspect of the business each day to make sure I got everything covered, soon went out of the window, you never know where a tweet will lead!! I have to say though, this only added to the experience, the interaction with the followers on the account is what it’s all about.
Armistice Day fell right in the middle of the week and one of our cows had a heifer calf. Great I thought, I can get the followers of the FOTUK account to name the calf and then as she grows and develops I can tweet updated about her progress from my personal account to keep everyone informed about her life on the farm. Our very own FOTUK calf! So we put it out there, there were many different name suggestions and after much deliberation we called her Poppy (very apt for the time of year!) and she was very popular with the followers…..unfortunately as is usually the case with all animals that get named (on this farm and no doubt many others too) she was poorly for a few days and about a week after we finished on FOTUK she died. Typical. Lesson learnt, no more minor celebrity calves for us!
We have become a nation of price savvy consumers, more often than not taking into consideration where our food comes from and the amount of hard work and effort that is put into getting it onto our plates. Now more than ever it is important that as farmers we try to bridge the gap between the farm gates and the shop shelves. FOTUK is promoting British Agriculture as it happens and as a past host I am very proud of the little bit that I have achieved with my week.