"Pah! This social media malarkey isn't for me," was my response to myself whenever I'd considered it before. But then a Google search one evening, on cow track design I think it was, led me to something called Twitter, the answers I needed where all there and it was fellow farmers like myself who were coming up with them all! So that was that, I set up my account, posted a hello message and waited.....and waited. I'm sure I'm not the only new tweeter who feels like they are talking to a brick wall, but eventually responses came to my photos and tweets, followed by a few followers. But still it felt like no one was listening to me. And then I remembered what someone far more important than myself had told me, if you want to get a message across, you need to tell a story.
So what better story to tell than that of British agriculture! I'm extraordinarily proud of my industry and the way it has shaped not just the countryside, but the country as a whole. The increasingly urbanised population is becoming further removed from the soil, the fields, the animals and food production in general and if we farmers and custodians of the land don't tell our story, then someone else will try to tell it instead. @FarmersOfTheUK was the perfect platform to reach as many people as possible and I jumped at the chance to host the account for a week, I even chose Christmas week, just so I had a captive audience! I'd planned roughly what I was going to post and dug out a few old photographs of my farm's history. The week just flew by, I really enjoyed interacting with all the followers, answering some interesting (and bizarre!) questions. On Sunday evening, to finish the week, I asked folks to tweet me why they loved the British countryside and I was overwhelmed by the response! I struggled to keep up with the retweets and to be honest it was a very humbling experience to be part of, to know how proud everyone is of the work farmers do.