Dairy farming can be quite isolated at times, especially in Southland, so farmer Tangaroa Walker has taken to the web to create a like-minded community.
Its online training and education platform, Farm4Life, now connects farmers across Aotearoa and around the world with a sense of humor and a desire to raise the level of knowledge in the industry.
First entered the industry at the age of 14, he now runs a farm with 500 cows. While he personally had a lot of support from the Southland community, Walker realized there was an opportunity to bond wider than his immediate friends and to help others in the dairy world. .
Turning to digital channels, including Facebook, his videos have now garnered millions of views and his humble, engaging and charismatic personality has drawn a large following.
However, being on a farm in Southland, one of her biggest challenges was trying to get good internet connectivity.
âI was driving down the road downloading my video content every night and it was really frustrating,â says Walker. While good connectivity was needed to run your business on the farm, including health and safety management, being able to keep Farm4Life online was essential.
Using the power of social media, Walker called on telecom operators to fix his connectivity. Farmside came to the rescue and set up a rural wireless broadband connection with an external antenna.
âThey got my internet up and running within days. Living in a rural area means mobile coverage can be a challenge sometimes, so I was delighted that Farmside was able to help. It was a game-changer for me in running Farm4Life and means I can focus on building community and sharing advice with other farmers – instead of wasting time finding a signal. “
Farmside is a rural wireless broadband provider and is part of the Vodafone network, based in Timaru with an all-New Zealand call center with specialists ready to help with connectivity challenges.
Jason Sharp, managing director of Farmside, says the company is committed to helping farmers do what they do best by taking care of connectivity.
âFarmers are busy people. Tangaroa may be a dairy farmer and content creator, primarily, but he’s also a part-time builder, plumber, electrician, engineer, truck driver, vet, accountant, employer, employee and a senior ITO intern. It all takes time and we wanted to take care of his internet connectivity, so he can focus on helping other Kiwifruit farmers be their best.
âWe are working with the Rural Connectivity Group and other providers such as satellite to offer rural Kiwis the ability to be connected. Vodafone is also investing hundreds of millions of dollars in building and upgrading cell sites around Aotearoa to respond to the increased use of technology during Covid-19 and beyond. “
Watch Walker’s videos at www.farm4life.co.nz.