This Highland farming Instagram account gives you a true taste of life in the fields
Photo credit: @airyolland | Janet McQuistin
Janet McQuistin, 52, and her husband Neale Highland Cross Whitebred breed Shorthorn calves and Beltex sheep at Airyolland Farm in South West Scotland. So she adopted Instagram (@airyolland) to connect with other farmers and feel less isolated in the fields.
I always have a camera with me on the farm. I breed and sell cows and sheep, so I want to make sure I catch them at their best. At the end of 2013, my then 18-year-old daughter introduced me to Instagram. She thought I could enjoy it.
I quickly discovered other women farmers. There is nothing better than farmers comparing pictures! I follow Mary Brough in the Lake District (@broughmary) - I like her hashtag #oldshepherdess and Wilma Cameron (@CameronsFarms) on the west coast of Scotland. I met Wilma at a Highland cattle sale four years after I started talking to her on social media.
Social media is great for seeing what others are up to. You can feel pretty isolated when you're farming. I always feel better when I see other farmers' pictures. We understand what it is like when it gets difficult.
Photo credit: Caroline McQuistin | Janet McQuistin
I am always looking for a good shot. One winter I looked after sheep and they followed me in a row. I parked my quad, stood on it and snapped away. I took other pictures of a highland cow peeking over a dike and a calf born on Christmas Eve. I love winter because the landscape is so dramatic.
My photos have attracted thousands of followers from around the world. I get a lot of news from Americans who come to Scotland and want to see a highland cow. Neale, my husband, started a travel business on the back, Kitchen Coos and Ewes. This year we have published virtual tours on Facebook.
I keep thinking that my Instagram page repeats itself, but then an animal surprises me. We also have a lot of wildlife on the farm, including several red squirrels. I don't have one in front of the camera yet. That is my next goal.
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Here are some of Janet von der Farm's best Instagram posts ...
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