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From the boom spray to the boom mic, the world’s a stage for Western Australian farming influencer

Posted by Rabobank Australia on


You can’t be what you can’t see, but now thanks to a new generation of media savvy farmers the world can enjoy a front row seat watching life on the land.

Western Australia’s John Carmody is a modern day farming ‘influencer’, with his 4,500 hectare grain property setting the stage for his popular YouTube channel, ‘Tom’s Brook Farm’.

And his Go-Pro is becoming a very handy addition to his toolbox.

Named after his family’s wheat, barley and canola property, ‘Tom’s Brook Farm’ provides the audience with first-hand insights into a working farm as John vlogs his daily life.

From the anticipation during seeding, to the angst of navigating a wet harvest, the natural seasonal drama of farming provides unique content that transcends beyond the farm gate. 

Together with his co-stars, three Golden Retrievers and his farm employee Henry, John believes the vlogs provide a valuable opportunity to help bridge the urban/rural divide.

“I follow some of the American farming vloggers out of interest as I enjoy seeing how they farm, and realised this could be something we could leverage here in Australia to help educate people on farming and food production.”

“Often if you’re not born into a farming family it can be intimidating, but YouTube provides an opportunity for people to visualise and demystify agriculture, and showcase the opportunities it affords.”

With such a disconnect between consumers and where their food comes from, he said promoting ag’s story was paramount.

“We need to show the world that farmers are not the enemy – and vlogging presents a genuine and authentic way to do this, giving the public a first-hand virtual journey of life on a farm.

Primary producer to film producer

Last year, John grabbed his Go-Pro camera and began documenting his days, showcasing all aspects of farm life – from growing and harvesting a crop, through to the rainy day chores such as cleaning the machinery shed.

“We take our lifestyle for granted, but for someone who has no access to ag, what we see as a mundane every day task can be absolutely fascinating.”

And with over one million total views, his documentation of daily farm life is well and truly trending.

The platform also affords John the opportunity to promote today’s modern farming practices, from controlled traffic farming systems and map-based variable-rate applications.

“I think the general public is surprised by the advanced technology driving increased efficiencies within Australian farming, and I often have people commenting on this aspect of the farm."

John uses an app-based data management program on his tablet and iPhone for precision farming, and from within his tractor cab, he can access a variety of field data such as soil type, soil nutrients, yield maps and application history.

It’s impressive technology he believes deserves to be shared.

“We’re showing the world how we’re lowering chemical usage in largescale broadacre farming operations thanks to data-driven decision making, and that Australia has one of the most sophisticated and sustainable farming systems in the world.”

With most of his viewers from urban areas, John said the feedback had been terrific, and believes the medium could be a valuable tool helping attract young people into ag careers.

“I notice a lot of high schoolers view my vlogs, and I recently had an ag teacher from Cunderdin High School reach out and let me know it follows his syllabus so well that he was encouraging all his students to subscribe.”

Prudent in regards to OH&S across his property, John believes YouTube is also a powerful tool in promoting the strong farm safety message, again providing additional assurance to potential employees.

John is also grateful to have the full support of the family’s Rabobank Rural Manager, Tom Campbell – another loyal fan.

“Tom is always at the end of the phone when we need him, and we have a great working relationship.” 

“It’s nice to have a bank that is focused on ag, and genuinely has the farmer’s interests in mind.”

“Rabobank is also very big on the research and development component of the grains industry, and passing that knowledge onto us is very useful.”

Can-do Carmody cousins sharing ag’s message

The Carmody name is commonplace across John’s hometown of Cascade, where his grandfather first began acquiring properties during the 1970s.

With his father one of four sons – three of whom returned back to the land – there’s a strong third generation of Carmody cousins within the district and beyond.

And they all share a strong vision for the future of ag, with John recently teaming up with his cousin, George, to release a weekly podcast, The Glass Cage, aimed specifically towards those in the farming community.

“Farmers don’t necessarily want to watch another farmer farm, but they’re often in a vehicle or piece of machinery looking for something to listen to,” John explains. “So the podcast is just two farmers talking ag over a beer and a laugh – something farmers can enjoy, relate to and hopefully learn something from in the meantime.”

Off the back of John’s YouTube success, he’s also encouraged another cousin, Jack Carmody, to produce his own YouTube Vlog, and today ‘Jack out the Back’, is enjoying great success documenting life on an outback Western Australian cattle station.

For the past five months Jack, based on ‘Prenti Downs’ at Wiluna has produced regular vlogs sharing the unique and challenging nature of station life.

Jack says he’s proud to be able to share the new technology making life easier and safer, as well as the innovations that underpin a more sustainable operation with a lower impact on the environment.

From the unique antics of station life such as retrieving a malfunctioning plane from the paddock with a car trailer, to teaching urban consumers about increasing animal welfare outcomes on their property through techniques such as low-stress stock handling, life on ‘Prenti Downs’ makes for compelling viewing.

Back at “Tom’s Brook Farm”, John’s parents, Paul and Ros have semi-retired into Esperance, and his brother David lives in Perth – yet there’s a new generation of Carmodys’ on the farm, John and wife Rhiannon’s seven-year-old Felicity and five-year-old Elayna.

And while his vlogs are helping educate the public on life on the land, they’re also a valuable keepsake documenting this special time in his life.

“I have a lot of fun making the clips, filming and editing them, and the girls always get excited watching them and seeing what’s happening on the farm.”

“I hope I can look back on these clips when I’m old and reflect on my family and my farming career, and help consumers join a few dot on where they’re clothed and fed in the meantime.”

For John’s vlog see https://www.youtube.com/@tomsbrookfarm and for his podcast, visit @theglasscagepod on Instagram, or listen at The Glass Cage Podcast