Piglets, sunrises and sheep trying to drive tractors: A day in the life of Britain’s farmers, as shared via #farm24

In the twenty-four hours between 5am on August 8 and August 9, 2019, hundreds of farmers posted snapshots of their lives to show the public what British agriculture is really all about.

At a time when British farming is wrestling with the possible consequences of no-deal Brexit and the controversial implications of the International Panel on Climate Change report, #Farm 24, an initiative that celebrates the many facets of British agriculture on social media, has come as a welcome relief.

From the Dales to the West Country, farmers across the UK posted pictures and videos capturing the joys and challenges of life on a farm.

Cuddly lambs, stately cows, enterprising sheepdogs, wheat fields ripe for harvesting and inspiring views of the countryside at sunset and sunrise flooded Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as farmers took to the Internet to share snippets of their lives.

Some pictures were outright hilarious, like the sheep at Tuck Mill Barns, in Devon, getting stuck behind the wheel of a Kawasaki because of its ample derrière.

There was also proof the former Prime Minister Theresa May isn’t the only one who likes running across fields of wheat.

Other images were more moving, such as the picture of a little lamb born a couple of days early.

One of the most beautiful posts came from the Kilbys of Highlander Farm, who raise pedigree Highland cattle (alongside chickens and children) in the Lincolnshire Wolds. The short video showed a little Highland calf being fed by its mum in the fields.

Over in Wales, it was all about pigs as smallholder Martha Roberts revelled in the sheer joy of her two-week-old Gloucestershire Old Spots discovering the taste of apples.

And the dog of farmer Elizabeth Charles made a beeline for the title of king of Instagram as it sat proudly on its freshly harvested throne.

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Who’s going to bale me out of this one? 🌾 #farm24

A post shared by Elizabeth (@elizcharles) on

Some farmers captured the solitary beauty of the countryside, with Yorkshire ‘one-woman-farm’ Alison O’Neill reposting an older picture of herself with her sheepdog against the backdrop of the fells to explain her passion for ‘living quietly’.

But the most adorable picture to encapsulate 24 hours of British farming was perhaps that of a brown Swiss calf born overnight on the Somerset farm of ‘Dairy Queen’ shepherdess Victoria Dimond.

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Warning warning cutie overload. What a cutie she was born last night. Beautiful little brown swiss calf Sometime life throws you some very hard challenges that make it very hard for you to carry on. People must remember you dont alway knows what goes on behind closes doors. I'm so please I have so amazing friends. You have behind my rock. Thank you . @ccallan1968_wife_keeper @yorkshiredales.life @gamekeeperess_ @allycook1979 #dairyfarm #brownswiss #brownswisscow #cute #picoftheday #lovecow #babycalf #calf #teamdairy #dairyfarmer #dairy365 #farm #farmlife #farm365 #worklife #cow #ukfarming #farmliving #farmgirl #agrispec #agriculture #cowofinstagram #britishfarming #womeninagriculture #farmpics #dairygirl #britishfarming #somerset #cutie #swiss #farm24

A post shared by 🐮Victoria Dimond 🐑 (@dairyqueen_shepherdess97) on

However, farmers didn’t shy away from showing the hard labour they have to put in and the challenges they face in their work.

‘Wheat Daddy’ Andrew Ward, who, when not working in the fields, runs ForageAid, a charity that helps farmers cope with extreme weather events, posted a video of his combine harvester in motion late at night on Thursday, August 8, as he tried to get everything done ahead of the incoming rain.

Farmers’ efforts gained the support of chefs like James Martin, who originally comes from a farming family and tweeted that ‘if you want to understand food, first you have to understand how hard it is to produce’.

It was a timely reminder of how much farmers contribute to the UK and life in the countryside in particular.