Young farmer has a global following in his pocket
HE has 165,000 followers on Facebook and 50,000 on Snapchat, but few know the man behind the success of ‘Snapped on the Farm’.
While studying for his Masters in Architectural Technology at Waterford Institute of Technology three years ago, Wexford farmer James McCormack saw the popularity of social media apps Facebook and Snapchat among young people but never thought anything of it until one of his friend’s sent him a photo.
“I was in college and saw the growing trend of all these apps. Every festival or college seemed to have a page called ‘Snapped at something or other’. My friend sent me a funny picture of him out on the farm with the cows and that’s when I set up the page Snapped on the Farm on Facebook,” says the 28-year-old.
The page receives thousands of snaps each week from farmers out and about on the farm with a funny caption. Whether it’s a farmer after getting mud splattered on their face by a cow or a video about herding cattle, it gets a great reaction.
The page’s following reaches the UK and even as far away as Australia and New Zealand, a long way from James’s family farm in Ballymitty, Co Wexford.
“I can’t believe how much it has grown. It started as fun. I can’t believe how popular it is amongst young people especially. I set up a Snapchat six months ago and that already has 50,000 followers. Sometimes the page would have 300,000 engagements a day. It’s crazy,” he says.
Social media often gets a bad reputation but James feels Snapped on the Farm offers farmers a break from busy pressures and to see the lighter side of life.
“There’s good and bad with everything. I’ve always had an interest in social media and think Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends. So many young farmers engage with Snapped on the Farm — it’s mostly 18-24-yearolds and almost an even spread of male and females visit the page, so they enjoy it a lot,” he says.
While James gets no financial benefits from the page and enjoys his day job in the construction industry and work on the family farm, he says that if he was to take Snapped on the Farm to another level that he’d like to do something on farm safety.
“If I was to do anything with it I’d like to do something on farm safety as it’s such a big issue and I do see myself ending up farming full-time in the next five or 10 years so it’s something I’d like to promote. I know the Keogh family in Wexford who lost their son Martin to a farm accident in September. It’s affecting so many, so I’d like to get the message out there.”