“Be honest and be you”: Emma Foot on sharing stories from the farm
18th March 2021
Dorset farmer and Instagram influencer Emma Foot speaks to Farmers Guide about sharing her story with her 17.6K followers, inspiring women in farming and the highlights and challenges of farm life.
With a passion for food, farming and photography, fourth-generation farmer Emma Foot started using Instagram to share a few photos of the family arable farm. Now she has more than 17,500 followers and has found it gives her the chance to talk to like-minded people.
“At school I struggled to find friends that had the same interests,” she commented. “Being on Instagram has given me the chance to talk to various people that are into farming or just interested.”
She added: “I enjoy feedback from young women in particular. I’ve had a lot of messages from young women who love what I do and now want to take on their family farms, or start farming. It’s great seeing more women get into farming.
“I find it rewarding showing people snippets of life on the farm and teaching people what goes on, on our farm. Everyone’s farm is different so it’s great to see other setups and ideas.”
Emma’s family arable farm is 550 acres, growing oilseed rape, oats, wheat barley, linseed and peas. Her grandparents originally bought the land and a few cows, buying additional land when they could afford it. Emma says she grew up with her dad, who is a farmer, and her grandmother, who was still actively farming and driving the combine until she was in her early 90s.
Emma helped with the harvest and a few other jobs and studied photography and food at A-Level, before going on to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Agriculture and gaining telehander certificates. Since then, she has also completed a Level 4 Basis course. She said: “When I finished my A-Levels I combined my love for food and photography and decided I didn’t want to do anything else but work on the farm. It is stressful sometimes but I do love farming and the lifestyle.”
She added: “The things I enjoy most about working and living in the countryside are being outdoors and I do enjoy working – I am very lucky to work with my family. I love having the freedom and space and watching the crops grow, and seeing all the wildlife and sunsets.”
Connecting with the public
Commenting on the biggest challenges facing farming, she noted the need to keep connecting with the public, showing the work that goes into British produce – and with many more people now using social media during the Covid-19 lockdowns, there is a now a bigger audience on these platforms.
“I think people who appreciate the work that’s gone into farming in the UK will tend to buy British and think more about where their food has come from,” she commented.
For those farmers looking to start sharing their stories on social media, Emma has one key piece of advice: “Be honest and be you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and share problems – no one is perfect or gets it right every time.”
Follow Emma on Instagram @emmafoot724.