He goes by the title, Massive Farmer Andy. This bloke has turned his dairy farm right into a supply of intrigue and fascination, with a web based following of greater than 300,000 individuals.
He goals to bridge the divide between metropolis and nation individuals by sharing snippets of his life on the land with humour. He’s additionally not afraid to problem these with opposing views. And is a robust advocate for psychological wellbeing, sporting a really effective mullet for psychological well being.
Andy is a 3rd era dairy farmer in Australia, however the enterprise was in his blood lengthy earlier than that. “My grandfather got here from Holland to Australia in 1936 and got here from a dairying household. Nevertheless, the Nice Despair ended that.
“So, he leased some land not too removed from right here in Australia, for the very best a part of 10 years. On the neighbouring property, my grandmother was rising up. One factor result in one other there. They purchased this place within the Forties and we’re nonetheless right here immediately,” Andy remembers.
A farming movie star
It appears like a comparatively quiet life, so how did Andy find yourself turning into a little bit of a celeb within the dairy world?
“I bought a nostril job!” he laughs. “Sadly, not a beauty one. I couldn’t breathe correctly, so I needed to have an operation again in November 2020. I had two weeks off the place I used to be excessive as a kite on painkillers. I wasn’t allowed to drive or do something. I had some outdated movies on my digicam roll, so I believed I’d give this TikTok factor a go. They did properly and I’ve stored it up,” he says.
It opens the door to dialog with individuals you in any other case wouldn’t have spoken to.
On the present rely, Andy has 378,000 followers and 10 million likes. “Unusual isn’t it. I by no means anticipated it to blow-up, but it surely did fairly rapidly. So, for the final 12 months or so I’ve been like an E or F record movie star! Individuals know who you might be across the place. That’s good. I like that as a result of it opens the door to dialog with individuals you in any other case wouldn’t have spoken to.”
Greater than that, Andy loves to indicate metropolis individuals a farming perspective, to coach and advocate. Fortunately, for his followers, that additionally includes lots of humour. “I’m somebody who can simply be myself utterly and assist additional agriculture in Australia.”
Breaking down myths and stereotypes
Andy additionally isn’t afraid to deal with controversial points, ought to they arrive up. He repeatedly engages with individuals who have opposing views.
“I believe it’s actually essential to face up for what you consider in but additionally to be well mannered and diplomatic about all of it. But when somebody is saying one thing which is wrong and is a stain in your character and your occupation, I believe there’s nothing improper with pointing that out and letting them know they’re improper,” he explains.
I believe it’s actually essential to face up for what you consider in but additionally to be well mannered and diplomatic about all of it.
Among the questions have come from vegans up to now and Andy fortunately engages in a significant dialogue and gives a real-life snapshot of his day, that isn’t curated in any kind.
“A whole lot of the time sadly it wasn’t too nice. On events although, you’ll get individuals who’d change their perspective. You’ll be able to’t be any extra clear than filming an animal. I can’t management what the cows and calves do. I can’t make them stand in a sure manner. I’m simply filming what’s taking place. I’m as clear as I may be.”
Andy describes some very uncomfortable moments. “You get some individuals who consider dairy farmers are blood-thirsty maniacs. That couldn’t be farther from the reality. Dairy cattle have very beneficiant lives the place they’re properly fed and stored in a clear atmosphere. They need to be. If you wish to have a very good consequence in your farm, your animals need to be in tip-top form.”
A day within the life
A standard day for Andy begins very early and ends very late, for the morning milking and the afternoon milking. That’s on daily basis, seven days every week. Followers get pleasure from peeking into that world, however the calf movies appear to be the largest hit.
“I get pleasure from going as much as the new child calves and having a little bit of a chat with them. I rear the calves on the farm right here, so I very a lot get pleasure from them.”
What individuals don’t see maybe is how laborious making a residing off dairy has been for the previous couple of many years and the isolation that comes with life on the land.
“I’m fortunate that I’ve TikTok and I’m capable of specific myself via that. In any other case, your social life could be very restricted and also you’re at all times working!” 1000’s of dairy farmers have left the trade within the final decade however there has lately been a welcome bump in pricing.
“Undoubtedly, you go to assembly now and dairy farmers have diminished. However that’s true, we did get a value improve. We haven’t bought our first pay simply but, however the value has gone as much as assist meet inflation,” Andy explains.
Advocating for psychological well being
His followers aren’t the one ones who’ve learnt from the expertise. Andy believes he’s learnt easy methods to talk extra successfully and effectively.
“I’ve additionally learnt there’s lots of good on the planet. It’s positively helped me develop as an individual, that’s for positive.” The added bonus for Andy, is he now has a platform to advertise psychological well being, which is a superb ardour of his.
I need individuals to know there are others on the market going through the identical issues. And there are others on the market who’re prepared to hear and who need to assist.
“My mom had numerous mind accidents about 5 years in the past and he or she was in mind damage rehab for numerous years. In with my mom, was a younger girl who had tried suicide and it had left her mind injured. I additionally know, in my life, three younger males who’ve died from suicide.
“I do know there are lots of people in the neighborhood who wrestle and endure in silence. I simply need individuals to know the way preventable suicide is. I need individuals to know there are others on the market going through the identical issues. And there are others on the market who’re prepared to hear and who need to assist.” Andy needs individuals to embrace it, discuss it and hopefully get some assist.
You might also discover, Andy is sporting fairly the mullet to lift cash for the Black Canine Institute. To donate, head to the Massive Farmer Andy Instagram or TikTok web page and observe the hyperlink in his bio.
Long term, Andy wish to characterize nation individuals via a profession in politics. “I’ve been blessed with large bloody lungs, a mind that’s good at speaking and a coronary heart that wishes to assist.” So, watch this area.
Hear extra tales similar to Andy’s by subscribing to the Telling Our Story podcast on iTunes and observe podcast host Angie Asimus on Instagram for extra updates.