With the rapid evolution of science and technology, the farming industry, like many other industries can be a minefield of overwhelming information, particularly surrounding popular topics such as dairy cow nutrition and young animal nutrition as well as animal husbandry practices. So it’s invaluable to have a channel to break down some of the hyperbole and share thoughts, knowledge and experiences.
Furthermore, in addition to information, social media channels such as Twitter can be a great source of support, advice and camaraderie from those with first hand experience, down on the farm. It provides an opportunity to form new friendships, business relationships and learn new working practices in what can be a very isolating vocation.
So, in the true nature of social media, we thought we’d share with you, 10 twitter accounts we here at Feed For Growth, think are worth a follow and our reasons why.
Peter and his partner Paula, like many are a dedicated and busy dairy farming family who run a grass-based farm in Cork. But what we feel stands them apart from the rest, is their dedication to promoting positive mental health in the farming industry. As founders of Ag Mental Health Week, they help rural people connect and share experiences around the subject of mental health in Agriculture. Through his Twitter feed, Peter demonstrates passion and dedication towards dairy farming, through sharing positive news stories, developments in the dairy industry as well as videos of his family helping out and obviously loving the work they are doing to champion dairy.
Bryan is a spring calving, grass-focused dairy farmer, and winner of the 2019 Grassland Farmer of the Year award, which we’re sure you’ll agree is quite an achievement! We admire Bryan for the dedication he demonstrates to his work and the great love he shows for his herd in refining processes on his farm for the greater good of his livestock and his team. Bryan showcases how well he works with animals, with the help of his dog, Issy, who assists him with jobs such as fencing off areas for grazing as well as establishing a focus on caring for nature and the environment through his promotion of tree planting on his farm.
A celebrity in the dairy world, Abi Reader is the Chair of the NFU Cymru Milk Board and Chair of CHeCS. She is also the cofounder of #CowsOnTour which is an invaluable source of insight into food and farming from the farmers’ perspective, for school aged children, members of the public and indeed those involved in the industry. Abi’s account is a great one to follow as she shares some brilliant, engaging content from videos of cows getting ready for milking to some amazing selfies with her herd of around 200 cows. Abi is a brilliant, positive force of energy and drive for the dairy industry and one to keep a close eye on.
David has been a dairy farmer since 2006 and similarly to Peter Hynes, is also an advocate for mental health in agriculture – a very hot topic in such difficult times (in the industry and world as a whole). David expresses himself to be a keen learner, taking on challenges such as successfully direct-drill reseeding one of his fields - something he had no experience of 6 months prior. He also addresses the challenges of Covid and longer-than-expected days at work and the appreciation he has for the help he receives. He’s also not afraid of a bit of sarcasm, especially surrounding the amount of grass he has available for his herd.
If you’re looking for a little light-heartedness and the chance of a laugh, James is definitely worth a follow. He’s the kind of dairy farmer who isn’t afraid of a moo-vellous pun on his tweets and shares plenty of dairy farming hacks, acquired through his own misfortune. A thinker, reader, dreamer, coffee drinker and tweeter around all things dairy farming, he also dabbles in a bit of blogging and is partial to the odd Tik Tok video. James is very open about what he does, documenting his working life via a series of videos - from moving cows from field to field, to developments on his farm and the odd jobs that need doing in order to keep everything ticking over.
James is a fifth generation organic dairy farmer who resides in Cumbria, with a focus on shorthorn dairy cattle at Strickley Farm. The farm itself dates back to 1875 and became fully organic in 2006. As well as sharing stories and photos of new arrivals on his farm, James posts updates and insight into his work. These include the importance of planting and maintenance of hedgerows as well as supporting communities and bringing farmers together with initiatives such as the Nature Friendly Farming Network. What really comes across through his content though, is the passion James has for the livestock industry and his desire to educate, inform and showcase it as a place of care and compassion. All qualities we feel, that should be shared far and wide!
Staffordshire based dairy farmer, Katie is a keen adopter of new technology in the form of automatic milking for her herd. Katie communicates a genuine air of care and compassion through her tweets, from the photos she shares of her cows feeding under LEDs, to brighten up a gloomy day, to the step by step processes she details to ensure her cows are looked after properly when they’re being milked. In addition, if you’re a sheep fan, she’s also a Border Leicester breeder, so you can get a little sheep fix while looking out for your herd.
Lorna is a dairy and beef farmer, mum and author, with an addiction to tea and chocolate - a winning combination in our book! As a writer, Lorna features some of her works predominately on her social channel, but also focuses on the ‘getting your hands dirty’ side of farming. From videos of new power washers to help in the milk parlours, to showcasing a real passion for the Irish countryside and promoting the podcasts and work of her peers, she’s one to watch out for.
Michael is a self-proclaimed ‘tired’ dairy farmer, a dad and also Chair of the NFU National Dairy Board, so he knows a thing or two about what makes the dairy industry brilliant. His account focuses on sharing and re-tweeting key messages supporting the Farming Community Network, local charities, the importance of food and farming and of course, mental health in the agricultural industry. He’s definitely worth keeping an eye on to get regular updates of all that’s going on in the world of agriculture and finding out how you can get involved.
John is from Wicklow, Ireland and is a dairy farmer and Jiu Jitsu fanatic. From John’s content, it’s clear he is immensely proud of his herd and showing them off – and in his shoes, who wouldn’t! From video content of a train of cows making their way to and from the field, to updates on the care and maintenance of his fields for his cattle. He is also keen to share the work and content of fellow dairy farmers, such as Peter Hynes and demonstrates a real connected attitude to the industry and to nature.
If you think there’s anyone we’ve missed, or would like to find out more about calf milk formula and dairy cow nutrition or if you’d simply like to stay connected, you can follow us at @FeedForGrowth.
Published on: 20 January 2021
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