COVID-19 has hit businesses around the globe, but people with unique and innovative ideas are still surviving. In one such incident a farmer from Cronkshaw Fold Farm in Rossendale, Lancashire, Dot McCarthy used to support her farm by hosting educational visits and weddings.
The 32-year-old thought that she should rent out her goats for online Zoom meetings as businesses move online. She had put this idea as a joke on her website but the response to it was unexpected, she received over 200 enquiries.
The goats at her farm join Zoom meetings and surprise the participants, just to lighten up the day. Those willing to hire the goats can pay a charge of £5. Staff members of the farm join the video call via the link shared by the meeting organisers and that’s how the goat appears in the scheduled meetings.
Her idea as so far earned GBP £50,000 from this business.
Dot used the money earned through this business idea to not only keep her farm running and staff employed during the pandemic, but also was able to introduce some improvements in her farm. In order to reduce the carbon footprint, she plans to use the money for installing a renewable energy source at her farm.
Customers from different countries like Australia, US, Russia and China have contacted the farm so far to get meetings with the goats.
Dot inherited this site from her mother five years ago and has certainly changed the way people envision farms. Her idea has gained recognition and in fact, Dot said that they struggle to keep up with the number of calls.
Apart from Dot, there are two staff members who work at the farm. She said that arranging calls for her goats is more fun and easier than selling manure which she does to raise the farm’s revenue.
"Filming goats and making people laugh is a lot easier than shovelling poo all day – people love it"
Dot McCarthy has gone from hosting weddings to launching video sessions with her many goats.
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) January 29, 2021