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Image / Living / Culture

Irish farm TikTok is the wholesome corner of the internet we’re all loving right now


By Sarah Finnan
16th Mar 2022

Pexels

Irish farm TikTok is the wholesome corner of the internet we’re all loving right now

If, like Jennifer Lawrence, your TikTok algorithm shows you mainly videos of baby goats, then you’re going to love the Irish farm trend.

I’m just going to go ahead and say it: everything is terrible right now. The news is overwhelmingly negative, the weather is gaslighting us and if paying this month’s rent doesn’t bankrupt us, filling the car with petrol will.

It’s times like these that make me wish I were an ostrich so I could bury my head in the sand without judgement. The only thing that has been offering brief respite from the grimness of it all is TikTok… more specifically, Farm TikTok which has been kind of having a moment online. 

One of the few online trends I’ll be happy to see stick around for a bit, it basically groups videos showing cute farm animals together and several Irish accounts have been getting traction online for their content. 

Down in Rebel County, 26-year-old Katie Shanahan has amassed over 100k followers on the platform for her videos. First starting her account during lockdown in January 2021, Katie has been documenting what daily life on a rural country farm is like since then – often sharing videos of new arrivals (such as these adorable little lambs) online. 

Heavily involved in the running of the farm itself, she helps her dad, Raymond, with all manner of jobs from bedding to lambing to dosing and dipping too. She never expected her account to blow up the way it has though, telling Cork Beo that most of her views come from young people and fellow farmers. “I get a rake of comments from people saying my videos remind them of when they were younger, like ‘Oh, your TikToks remind me of being on the farm when I was a child’. It really is lovely.”

@k8_eeee

Get tagging, I know what snack I want #fyp #lamb #cute #nibbling #agri #pet #snack #tiktoktraditions

? Snack – Alucard Everlasting

Aside from working on the farm, Katie is busy working two other jobs – she has her own Irish dancing school and is a part-time social worker too – and is also one year into a remote Green Cert programme to get her trained farmer qualification. 

Elsewhere in Co Down, ethical beekeeper Emma Thompson has also generated quite a buzz (excuse the pun, I couldn’t help myself). Deciding to research more about bees after hearing about the links between honey and skincare, Emma admitted that she never had any interest or real experience with bees until around seven years ago.

“I had acute acne from when I was a teenager and I was investigating how I could heal my skin via my gut health,” she explained in an interview with Belfast Live. “I discovered that raw honey was probiotic. I only ever used imported honey and it wasn’t something that I would have reached for.” Immediately ordering some raw honey to try it for herself, she said that she had “never tasted anything like it before” and that changed everything for her. 

“I picked up my phone and started to Google about where honey came from – I actually thought it came from bumblebees that you’d see in the garden and I didn’t know that honeybees were different and I kind of went down a rabbit hole.

“I became obsessed, not even just with honey, but with bees and how intelligent they are and it was almost like God had reached out to me and showed me what I was going to be doing for the rest of my life because it’s just been a journey ever since.”

@missbeehaven123

? original sound – The TikTok Beekeeper

Deciding to enrol in an Induction to Beekeeping course in Northern Ireland, Emma’s father also joined her and the hobby has become a special bonding activity for the two. Several years later and Emma now sells the homemade products she makes from the honey she’s harvested. “I want to continue to grow very organically and steadily – in my previous job, I always felt like I was living somebody else’s life and never really felt completely comfortable and now I know why. My career didn’t really start until I discovered bees,” she continued. 

In Offaly, farmer Lauren Ennis has broken the one million mark with her “culchie TikToks”. Using her platform to promote women in agriculture, she never misses the chance to have a laugh and keeps followers entertained with the ins and outs of country life. 

@laurenennis135

#fyp#womeninag #hello2022#veganuary @erin4tune1

? Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart

Speaking to RTÉ News about why she makes the type of videos she does, Lauren said that it basically comes down to wanting to encourage other girls to pursue careers in agriculture. 

“I know when I was younger if I had someone older than me that I could look up to, I would be a lot more confident in myself. A lot of the time you will get sexist remarks and if you address them, they often say they’re joking. Girls or women have never found this funny.

“No matter what age you are. If you’re a young boy or an old man, this behaviour is not acceptable and the effects it can have on young girls or women, in general, is often very devastating

“A woman’s place is wherever she’s happiest,” she emphasised. “I feel like often women in agriculture don’t get the respect we deserve and I feel as a whole the agri community needs to support women more.”

So, not only are farm TikToks kind of like virtual animal therapy, but they’re educational (and empowering!) too. 

I reckon Jennifer Lawrence would love this particular corner of the internet. At her own admission, she mostly just watches videos about animals when browsing the interweb, so this would be right up her alley. “My TikTok algorithm is baby goats”, she told Netflix’s Present Company podcast last month. “It’s basically just farm life – so cats, animals, farm life, a couple of recipes. But really it’s pretty much strictly animals.” 

Her favourite account actually belongs to a woman named Rebecca Pyle (@mommyfarmer) whose goat JLaw has a particular affinity for. “Her goat had triplets and there was a really tiny one that we didn’t think was going to make it through the night. And she did and her name is Ruthie and she is doing beautifully.”

@mommyfarmer

#duet with @netflix Happy y’all enjoy the ridiculous farm content, even if Ruthie is unphased by the shout out #babygoat #ruthie #jenniferlawrence

? original sound – Netflix

Much as she loves the platform, Jen has no plans to post videos of her own though so don’t expect her to attempt an Addison Rae-esque dance routine anytime soon. “No, I don’t make TikToks. Oh my God. Could you imagine?” she said in response to The Late Show host Stephen Colbert, who asked her why she won’t post.

Disappointing, but glad she’s enjoying the baby goat videos all the same.