An interesting statement isn’t it? But it is so so true. Who grows your fruit and veg? Who grows the grain for your bread and cakes? Who grows your meat?
Farmers feed families….. farmers of all sorts, feed families of all sorts.
Sometime back in May a call was put out on twitter looking for farmers to volunteer to tweet for a week about their life on their farm… and so @tweetingfarmers was born. We immediately signed up and both of us have already done our week of tweeting.
The thought has often struck me ‘would twitter have helped’ during the recent fodder crisis? Would those despairing farmers have chatted to someone on twitter about their difficulties? It is often easier to chat to a ‘stranger’ than to embroil family and friends in your crisis and worries.
The idea for Farmers Feed Families and the Tweeting farmers was concieved by Anne Brady and Jessica Zaffino – two ladies living in Dublin who feel people have become totally disconnected about where their food comes from!!! So fair play to them, they decided to do something about it.
When we had the launch of @TweetingFarmers here in June I took the opportunity to chat to Anne about their plans – where they idea came from, etc.
So here’s their story….
Anne grew up on an organic dairy farm on the Cavan/Longford border where they had a mixed herd of Jersey, Ayrshire and Shorthorns. Her Dad has been farming organically since 1994 but only went for certification in 2009.
Jess grew up in Canada and did Agricultural Science in college, completing her Masters Degree in the Epidemiology Department. Her research for her Masters was part of a National Dairy Cow Welfare Assessment.
The girls then meet up in Dublin….and have noticed over the years the lack of understanding that people have of agriculture and farming in general. If you haven’t grown up on a farm, you will have little knowledge of what happens on a farm each day, the thought process that goes into producing food and the work and involvement that it takes. There is a Canadian group called ‘Farmers Feed Cities’ so rather than reinvent the wheel, Anne and Jess decided to start a similar campaign in Ireland – ‘Farmers Feed Families’.
There are major plans afoot to keep this initiative going. They hope to get companies interested in funding the various projects they have planned. (Any companies out there want to sponsor a project? Get in touch with Anne at Farmers Feed Families!)
If you are an urbanite and would like to learn more about the day-to-day running of a farm – dairy, beef, grain, pigs, goats, sheep – follow along on @TweetingFarmers. This campaign is a wonderful insight into what is going on on a daily basis on farms across the country. Each week a different farmer takes over and curates the account. Next week it will be a neighbour of ours – Michael Seymour of Sheepwalk farm – who will be tweeting.
The next project that Farmers Feed Families will be launching is ‘Like Food? Love Farmers!’ The aim of this project is to connect people with their local egg/beef/dairy/etc farmer.
We wish Anne and Jess the very best of luck with their plans and will certainly offer our support in whatever way we can.
Or better still if you know of any farmers…. get them to join the campaign… let’s get all farmers talking to each other via twitter 🙂