Young farmer has a global fol­low­ing in his pocket

Irish Independent - Farming - - PHOTO DIARY -

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.”

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