This year’s Ploughing Championships may show off vintage tractors and equipment, but also has seen a growing trend among young farmers showing their livelihoods on social media.
Social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram are now full of cows being milked, tractors baling silage and sheep being sold.
TikTok Representative at the Ploughing Championships Rebecca O’Keefe told The Hard Shoulder ‘FarmTok’ “champions rural communities”.
“FarmTok is bascially a community of agricultural creators on the app,” she said.
“You have everything from dairy farmers in Kentucky to cattle farmers here.”
Newstalk Reporter Josh Crosbie spoke to some of the people taking FarmTok by the horns.
Longford Farmer Phil Stewart is known as Farmer Phil online and has gained 78,000 YouTube subscribers and 45,500 TikTok followers.
“I make videos as we go along of whatever we're doing on the day,” he said.
“Whether we’re working with pigs or some of our vintage machinery, we film it... it’s rough and ready.”
@farmerphil135 Bog block tries to make a mess of my mower but luckily all it done was knock 2 knives off. #disaster #massey #farming #silage #grass ♬ original sound - FARMER PHIL
Mr Stewart’s wife looks after editing the videos, which he acknowledges is “the bulk of the work” when you have a social media presence.
Long queues formed at the Ploughing Championships full of farmers and enthusiasts eager to meet their favourite social media farmer.
“From what people say to me, [its popularity] is just because of how real it is,” Mr Stewart said.
“There's no polish or shine - it's raw and ready to go and we're a family unit.
@farmerphil135 Which is cheaper?🤷🤔 also I could do with a hair cut😂 #farming #priceofdiesel #inflation #tractor ♬ Reading Rainbow Theme Song - Reading Rainbow
“You just have to take it as a hobby, as a bit of craic.
“Never get too serious about it because if you sit down here say to yourself, ‘I want to have X amount of followers X amount of subscribers’, you can never know because of the algorithm [on social media sites].”
Brand deals on FarmTok
Glenn Egan, also known as ‘The Sheep Shepherd’, told Newstalk a benefit to FarmTok is the partnerships you can form with companies.
“You get companies and brands who get on to you, for example mineral sources or maybe quad bikes,” he said.
“They might give you a good deal to promote their brand and get their name out there.
“Instead of giving it to Tom down the road, who’s not a farmer so you’re wasting your time, an online account like myself is targeting [the audience].”