Ever seen bilingual goats that can make you some money on zoom?
To regain sanity in the wake of the pandemic many people have tried finding ways to keep things interesting. A farmer who had the ingenious idea of hiring out her herd of goats to liven Zoom calls has made £50,000 from the scheme.
The money has been enough to maintain the wages of two staff members through the pandemic and will help to ensure the future of Cronkshaw Fold Farm, in Helmshore, Rossendale.
The best way to get through anything is by making it humorous.
Dot McCarthy has been surprised by the huge turnout and who would have thought that goats would be this successful?
When Dot was asked about the goats she said:
“We do the calls from 6am until 9.30pm every single day, even Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I think the best way to get through difficult times is with humour and it’s worked well so far.”
The success of the scheme means Dot can install improvements to convert the farm to renewable power.
“We’re riding the wave but sadly I don’t think people will want to call goats forever,” she says.
“We have nearly got enough money for some renewable power technology and I’m hopeful that this year we will be able to install some solar panels, charging points and other things.”
Dot’s long-term ambition is to make Cronkshaw Fold Farm completely sustainable and “guilt free”. The 30-year-old, who is passionate about environmental sustainability, has grand plans to make everything on site sustainable.
Dot was the star of a BBC documentary last year which followed her as she worked to run the farm, the holiday business, host a wedding, add a hot tub and launch goat yoga at the farm.
She was booked up for weddings, holidays and fundraising events before the pandemic hit and was forced to cancel all events. The goat zoom calls are one of a number of inventive ideas Dot came up with to keep the farm going through the tough lockdown period with the help of her teenage apprentice and ‘admin queen’ Emma.
For just £5, customers can hire one of six goats to join their calls and add some excitement to dull meetings.
There’s also a variety of goats to choose from.
Customers can choose from ‘sassy’ Simone, the impeccably mannered Elizabeth, ‘opinionated’ Bret or velvety-eared Terrance, who has ‘a deep interest in what you have to say’. The “insane” idea took off and the goats ended up on calls in Australia, New Zealand and Canada as well as all over the UK.