Both bold and bizarre, the National Trust’s MyFarm online experiment in farming and food production gives 10,000 members of the public a say in the running of a real working farm. I had a look at the MyFarm website for the first time today and was astonished by the account of a farmer assisting a calving. I count myself as someone who appreciates (actually, loves) farm life but reading about it from an observer’s standpoint is something else. People were moved.
MyFarm is a ground-breaking project bridging the gap between farmers and other members of the community. While we don’t have anything like that here in Australia, there are lots of opportunities to connect people and farmers. Farm Day does an amazing job of getting people out to farms and meeting real farmers, while the Archibull Prize and Picasso Cows help students learn about agriculture. Farming is even on Facebook with Farming is the New Black and quite a few farmers have begun blogs like mine to offer a window into life on the land.
Isn’t it odd that something as abstract as the internet is having such a role in bringing the very earthy lives of farmers closer to those of townfolk?