Aligned and Thriving Podcast | Strategies for Work Life Balance

Lambing and Livestreaming with TaraFarms

May 13, 2024 Judith Bowtell | Career Development for Achieving Work-Life Balance Episode 20
Lambing and Livestreaming with TaraFarms
Aligned and Thriving Podcast | Strategies for Work Life Balance
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Aligned and Thriving Podcast | Strategies for Work Life Balance
Lambing and Livestreaming with TaraFarms
May 13, 2024 Episode 20
Judith Bowtell | Career Development for Achieving Work-Life Balance

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In this episode, Judith interviews Tara, who runs the popular YouTube channel "TaraFarms" that documents her life on a sheep and cereal cropping farm in rural Australia. They discuss Tara's work-life balance, the challenges of farming and content creation, and her mission to educate viewers about the realities of modern agriculture.

Podcast Episode Summary

  • Tara's approach to work-life balance: splitting her week between farm work and content creation/editing
  • The physical demands of farm work, especially during lambing season with 7,000 pregnant ewes
  • Managing pastures and rotating sheep between 63 different mobs (groups) of paddocks
  • Addressing criticism from vegans/animal rights activists by showing ethical treatment of animals
  • Challenges of creating engaging long-form content when audience attention spans are dwindling
  • Opportunities and challenges of being a female content creator in the farming niche on YouTube
  • Balancing authenticity and prudence in depicting the realities of farm life
  • Impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and changing wool/meat markets on farming operations

What We Learn from the Guest

Tara provides an authentic glimpse into the hard work, problem-solving, and ethical considerations involved in running a modern sheep farm. She aims to educate viewers about sustainable farming practices, animal welfare standards, and the role of agriculture in food production and environmental management.

Resources and Links

Connect with Tara:


Connect with Judith Bowtell on Facebook:
To learn more about how we can work together:

Come say hi on:
Let’s be Instagram friends:
Let’s stay connected on:

Don't forget to rate, review, or drop your questions on:

Apple podcast


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us your questions.

In this episode, Judith interviews Tara, who runs the popular YouTube channel "TaraFarms" that documents her life on a sheep and cereal cropping farm in rural Australia. They discuss Tara's work-life balance, the challenges of farming and content creation, and her mission to educate viewers about the realities of modern agriculture.

Podcast Episode Summary

  • Tara's approach to work-life balance: splitting her week between farm work and content creation/editing
  • The physical demands of farm work, especially during lambing season with 7,000 pregnant ewes
  • Managing pastures and rotating sheep between 63 different mobs (groups) of paddocks
  • Addressing criticism from vegans/animal rights activists by showing ethical treatment of animals
  • Challenges of creating engaging long-form content when audience attention spans are dwindling
  • Opportunities and challenges of being a female content creator in the farming niche on YouTube
  • Balancing authenticity and prudence in depicting the realities of farm life
  • Impacts of climate change, natural disasters, and changing wool/meat markets on farming operations

What We Learn from the Guest

Tara provides an authentic glimpse into the hard work, problem-solving, and ethical considerations involved in running a modern sheep farm. She aims to educate viewers about sustainable farming practices, animal welfare standards, and the role of agriculture in food production and environmental management.

Resources and Links

Connect with Tara:


Connect with Judith Bowtell on Facebook:
To learn more about how we can work together:

Come say hi on:
Let’s be Instagram friends:
Let’s stay connected on:

Don't forget to rate, review, or drop your questions on:

Apple podcast


[00:00:00] Judith: So good morning, everybody. It's Judith Bowtell here for another episode of Aligned and Thriving. This is the show where we look into different people's working lives and explore the variety of activities that people do that are now for work. And also to see how that balances with other priorities and values in people's lives. And today, I may even go into a bit of fangirl mode because I have one of my favourite YouTubers on the line who is Tara and Tara runs the channel Tara Farms. She describes it as a glimpse into my family's sheep and cereal cropping farm, comes out every Wednesday, and she's been working on this project for the last six years. And she lives in the beautiful country of rural Victoria. I grew up in Victoria. I can attest to that. And she loves to share her sheep, her dogs, and other adventures with her viewers. It definitely is that. I can attest to it. Alright, so welcome Tara.

[00:01:08] TaraFarms: Hello, thanks for having me.

[00:01:11] Judith: You're welcome. You're welcome. I'm really so thrilled you said yes, because I know this is a busy time for you. Cause you started lambing, I believe.

[00:01:20] TaraFarms: Yes, we've just started with the prime lines at the moment,

[00:01:23] Judith: Yay.

[00:01:24] TaraFarms: slowly easing into it.

[00:01:26] Judith: Excellent. So how many pregnant ewes do you estimate you have on the property?

[00:01:30] TaraFarms: We're about 7, 000.

[00:01:32] Judith: Okay. Okay. That's a lot. That's a lot of baby sheep to come. So if you want to see more of this, just check out her channel because it's about this time last year, I think I started watching you and I was able to go through the journey from lambing up to, getting ready for the next season. So the whole circuit.

[00:01:53] TaraFarms: Yeah, you've experienced a whole year.

[00:01:56] Judith: And I started because Tara put up these little shorts on YouTube and they were titled Turtles. Do you want to tell us what a turtle is? 

[00:02:04] TaraFarms: So we have quite a few, when you have composite sheep, which is say a mutt, a mixed breed dog, you call them composite sheep. They our prime lines that's what they are they're composites and they get quite fat. And especially when they're pregnant, some of them like to carry their lambs up towards their back. So when they go to sunbathe, they lie on their side and then sometimes when they try to get up they kick too far and then they flip over onto their backs.

[00:02:33] Judith: Oh 

[00:02:33] TaraFarms: So then you've got to quick go along and flip them back over because they can get the gas builds up in their stomach and they will die if they stay turtled for too long.

[00:02:43] Judith: Turtling is not a good thing to do. Yeah. The other sheep don't come in help. 

[00:02:47] TaraFarms: No, sheep don't. People think that sheep like help each other. Sheep are all one for everyone for themselves.

[00:02:57] Judith: Awesome. You get to learn a lot about sheep. I now know much more than I did 12 months ago. And I've learned a really fun way as well. Yeah. So let's start the conversation as I normally do, which is, Tara, what have you done lately for your work life balance?

[00:03:15] TaraFarms: I split my week into four days unless I'm needed more on the farm and then three days doing social media. So that's the way I split everything up. So it makes it a lot easier. I like to edit everything on one day and that's it and then it's done for the week and then I film only one day a week. There's a lot of other like sheep creators who will film like Cammy, the sheep game, he just did every day for the last month, I couldn't imagine doing that would be shocking.

[00:03:47] Judith: Oh, wow.

[00:03:48] TaraFarms: That would That would be he filmed and then edited it that night to post the next morning.

[00:03:53] Judith: Oh gosh, did he have something special going on that?

[00:03:55] TaraFarms: That's when it's his big like start of lambing and I think that's when he gets most of his revenue from his channel which fair enough but I couldn't do it. It's too much work.

[00:04:06] Judith: Yeah, another channel we follow Lulu and friends which is a woman who Netherlands with a couple of dash hands, why not? And she one of the dashes just had puppies. And yes, we're getting daily content every single day that the day of the puppies are since birth. And I was thinking, wow, that just must be exhausting but yeah it must be prime monetization. You can see the gold bar this little death line. Oh, it's snorted. Yes, because that's what YouTube's all about. Yeah. But that must be so much work. And you edit all your work yourself.

[00:04:43] TaraFarms: Yeah, I do all of the editing and all of that. I enjoy editing. That's when I can add the comedy while I make it but that's when you can get it to be what you want it to be. And not a lot of people can do it.

[00:04:56] Judith: Yes, 

[00:04:56] TaraFarms: It frustrates me because I've got to edit it. People don't get what I'm trying to do and by the time I've explained it I may as well have done it.

[00:05:06] Judith: Yeah. I think that's so true for so many people. This is edited, not by me these podcasts because I basically started this project when somebody approached me and said, do you want to do this? And I said, yeah, I've always wanted to do a podcast but I have no idea how to go about it. But Charmaine does it. And so I think because I started in that way and she's terrific. So I've got no desire to go back and do it again. But I think if you have a particular point of view, I can really understand how you want to do it your way and make sure it's your voice and your story. Yeah.

[00:05:37] TaraFarms: yeah. It's hard to portray, especially with farming. You've got to get the right person.

[00:05:46] Judith: Yeah. And I think it wouldn't be the same. It wouldn't be the same with that. Yeah. The interstitials and the illustrations.

[00:05:53] TaraFarms: Yes. You wouldn't be able to get an editor to do my beautiful illustrations. And like with the farming stuff I wouldn't be able to, an editor, like a random person, they need to understand farming to be able to when I explain what typos doing they need to be able to see, know what she's doing. And farmers, like people that know farms and know work dogs enough don't have time to edit videos.

[00:06:17] Judith: So Typo is Tara's work job and she is Kelki, do you want to give us more detail on Typo?

[00:06:24] TaraFarms: So Typo is my seven year old Kelpie. She was a puppy. Yeah, she's seven. People don't believe that.

[00:06:31] Judith: special.

[00:06:32] TaraFarms: She's quite shocking for a seven year old dog. She's meant to be in her prime but we work with what we've got. She was bred from two of dad's dogs. He's best work dogs, so they only had a litter of one. She's a litter of one. Yeah, she's she's very special

[00:06:48] Judith: Yeah. Oh, that's amazing. So it's definitely your dog. No one else could have had her. Yeah.

[00:06:55] TaraFarms: Yeah,

[00:06:56] Judith: Great. Oh, and Typo is such a star. You have made, you've made you've made a star. She and could I just tell a little story is that I, in my other life, I do coaching and training for people around all sorts of working issues including leadership. And I was doing a workshop with a group of public servants and I had to describe the type of leadership you need. For running a policy process which is a whole it's got to be able to move from we're going this way to okay now I'm listening and I'm listening and I'm paying attention to what's going on and then I've got to be able to be a bit more pushy and you've really got to be very adaptable and flexible. And I was like, how do I show that in a way that's fresh, new? Cuts through all the jargon, which is what I was trying to do over this course. Totally. And make policy making much more common sense. And I went, oh, she dog typo. Oh. So now I've got about a group of public servants that are all addicted to watching typo run the sheep. Yeah. 'cause in that moment like I was saying, resilience and there's a clip of typo going back. There's a bit of an aggressive sheep and you're sending her back in and you're saying, you've got to get your confidence up and you've got to work and you've got to push her in a bit and add a bit of spice that's the phrase. And everyone's going oh, now I get what resilience means. I've been to a thousand development courses but I get it now. And I also get what you do as a boss as well, to support your team to do this as well. And it was like one minute short to talk about it in terms of sheepdogs.

[00:08:32] TaraFarms: Yes 

[00:08:32] Judith: It's definitely and hopefully you're okay with me using.

[00:08:35] TaraFarms: I don't mind at all. My content's made to be shared.

[00:08:39] Judith: Yeah. What I'd like to know is, because you're balancing this creative life making content and you've also got the on the farm life I'd love to explore more of what sort of supports you to balance this incredibly busy two full time jobs, basically. What did you learn about work when you were a kid? What did you learn from your parents and other adults around you?

[00:09:04] TaraFarms: So dad's always, it still is, he's very, he wants to work, he needs to work and it's taken a big toll on his body and his big thing now is you need time off.

[00:09:17] Judith: Wow.

[00:09:18] TaraFarms: You need to relax and enjoy your life. That's one of my biggest, I'm going to do what I want. We have an international holiday once or twice every year, so I can't just have a holiday I can't not go to work and sit off for a month and just stay home. I need to go to another country.

[00:09:38] Judith: Yes. 

[00:09:39] TaraFarms: Where I can't be, I can't just come and do something.

[00:09:42] Judith: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's great to see that your father has picked that up in his I won't say his later life. I'm not sure how old your dad is. I'm sure he's younger than me. But it's yeah, learning because I've got family from way back that were farmers and my father's father who, my dad would have turned 100 the other day. So you can imagine this is back in the 30s and 40s, even. And he had a farm in New South Wales and he dropped dead at the age of 45 or something from a heart attack on the farm. 

[00:10:11] TaraFarms: Yes. 

[00:10:11] Judith: What we don't want.

[00:10:13] TaraFarms: No, it's a very common story. Farmers will just drop dead on the farm.

[00:10:18] Judith: yeah. Dropped dead on the farm. And then sadly his mother, about 20 years later, dropped dead by handing somebody a cup of tea. My dad made sure he looked after his heart, but yes, he could live into his eighties. But it is that story of people do just, overwork their bodies and when it's very much manual labor, it's hard work. What we're watching is people working incredibly hard doing physical things. Yeah.

[00:10:42] TaraFarms: Yeah. The shearers when dad was younger people would just shear wet sheep. Now you can not do it. It causes arthritis. It causes all sorts of leg problems. It's like more protecting the body like dad doesn't want me shearing. So I don't wreck my back.

[00:10:58] Judith: Yeah. So your dad sheared.

[00:11:00] TaraFarms: Oh, yeah, dad. Dad did everything

[00:11:03] Judith: Right.

[00:11:04] TaraFarms: He run the farm but he also would shear the sheep and class the wool and do everything. Yeah, I do the fly blown sheep and the odd sheep. But bear in mind, I don't know, I was just under 60 kilo last time I checked and the sheep I'm handling 80 to 90 kilo.

[00:11:20] Judith: Right. Right. Yes.

[00:11:21] TaraFarms: So doing that over and over again is not great for my backs or my legs or any of that.

[00:11:30] Judith: No. I watched you the other day putting I don't know, a year or a weather, back

[00:11:34] TaraFarms: Yeah. The Merino weather.

[00:11:35] Judith: Yeah, at the end of the weather. It's just, it's utterly hilarious. Please make sure you watch it. But putting this sheep, and my husband was saying, geez, she's strong, to be able to get that would 50, 60 kilos

[00:11:47] TaraFarms: Yeah. It'd be 65, 70 kilo.

[00:11:50] Judith: of dead weight sheep. Like he was not cooperating in any way, shape or form. It's like when you've got a dog, I don't know, when a toddler goes, I'm not cooperating here, but multiply that by many. And he got into the back of that raft. Yeah.

[00:12:06] TaraFarms: You got it. You got to do it.

[00:12:09] Judith: I guess 

[00:12:09] TaraFarms: Normally it's I've got to flop the front half in and then I push the back, the bums up and shove them in. It's very hard. It's when you've got the heavily pregnant fat ewes that are like, pushing a hundred and something kilo. They're the ones that are hard to get in.

[00:12:25] Judith: So you've got to remember that most of what we watch on the vlog is Tara by herself with her typos. You've only got one dog and your dad's out there with what four of them.

[00:12:37] TaraFarms: Yeah. Dad's got a fleet.

[00:12:38] Judith: Yeah. So you're doing so much work, just the two of you. And I think that's what sometimes people don't appreciate as well that it's solo work. You do have to just deal with the problems that are in front of you and solve the problems. And as you said be willing to get in and do all that. How did you perhaps develop these skills or how did you get used to doing this kind of work? 

[00:13:01] TaraFarms: Oh yeah. You just part of it. You just gotta do it. That's how I can summarize that is you just gotta do it. Of course, I get home and I re watch the vlog and I'm like, Oh, I should have done that. I should have done this. I should have done that. And then you get the comments where people who've never touched a sheep in their life tell you what to do. And then they tell you, like I got one the other day, someone told me I should have plunged this lamb into some water to warm it up. Technically, yes, however, the lamb was like, below hypothermic.

[00:13:34] Judith: no. 

[00:13:34] TaraFarms: I did it, it would have gone into cardiac arrest or shock.

[00:13:38] Judith: Yeah. 

[00:13:39] TaraFarms: So people think they know but they don't which that's a whole other aspect of the job that makes it. The farm worker me putting the sheep in the back of the RAV is much easier than me having to explain to someone who thinks they know, but doesn't online, that's it., I'd take putting the sheep in the back of the car much easier.

[00:13:58] Judith: So let's maybe move then into this other part of your work, which you've been doing for six years in making content on YouTube. That's a long time. How did you start? Did you do a course? Did you learn from somebody? How did you get started? Or you just jumped in?

[00:14:12] TaraFarms: It was a bet. Originally I did totally different content. I've only started doing the farming stuff, I think end of January, start of February last year. And I've grown from, I think 30, 000 subscribers to whatever I am now. And originally, I bet someone, I can't even remember what it was now but it was a stupid bet, it was a bet that I lost.

[00:14:33] Judith: Oh, okay. 

[00:14:35] TaraFarms: Then I had to make the YouTube channel. And originally I started posting comedy content and then I burnt out and I didn't know what to post. And I ran out of things to post and I just quit. I got a lot of comments cause I did environmental content for a couple of years. Cause I'm a big, environmental person. I think it's very important. I know with a farmer, it doesn't really link together very well, but it does. People don't see that people just like to accuse me of being in like an eco terrorist.

[00:15:05] Judith: We're going to go back and explore some of that. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:15:08] TaraFarms: But we do a lot and it's only just got buzzwords now like to stuff that we do it's only just being labeled. So I was making on TikTok, I had an account I wish I could archive it, but I can't. But I think it was like 700,000 followers. I made content on that and then I got to the point with that, where it just got so it was a cesspit.

[00:15:31] Judith: Oh, no. 

[00:15:32] TaraFarms: People just go nasty for no reason and I just got to the point where I'm like, I don't want to keep feeding this so I cut that held that and I had a couple of followers that were like really they've followed me like since the beginning, they've watched, everything play out. And they're like, look, post stuff about you on the farm. There's one specific guy. His name is Andrew. He's lovely. He supported me from the start and he's look, post farming content. Liam, my partner he watches farm blogs and stuff. See how it goes. And then I put the first video up and then I put more and then it was just, cause it was, I'm guaranteed I'm going to have content. If I just go to the farm and film. I've got content. I don't have to come up with a new idea. Cause that's something people don't understand about YouTube is every single video has to be like a whole new thing. Cause TV producers they've got a whole team behind them. They make one good season. They just keep banging it out. Whereas YouTube, you've got to come up with a new thing every single time that needs to be good that gets people to click on it and watch it. Whereas on YouTube, it's just up to you and you've got to make something that people are going to watch. So like with my content, I'm trying to make like a series, like an episode more towards a TV sort of presentation. Where as I said, I'm guaranteed to have content. And I don't have to worry about, Oh, what am I going to post next week? I'm just going to film on the farm and see what happens.

[00:17:09] Judith: Yeah. So, it's that more documentarian kind of approach to it. 

[00:17:12] TaraFarms: Yeah. People like to compare me to Clarkson farms. I haven't watched it. I've watched clips.

[00:17:18] Judith: Okay. I haven't watched that one either. Is that Jeremy Clarkson? 

[00:17:22] TaraFarms: Oh, it's a shit show.

[00:17:23] Judith: Okay. 

[00:17:24] TaraFarms: That's a pretty mild swear word for what I use.

[00:17:26] Judith: No, I should have said that at the beginning. We are fine with that.

[00:17:31] TaraFarms: Okay. Yeah, it's a shit show on his farm. It's basically they exploit, they've got rock fences, like in the UK, when we went over, we saw the rock fences that keep the sheep in, they wouldn't hold our sheep, but it doesn't hold their sheep either, but they won't replace the fences because it makes good content of the sheep escaping.

[00:17:52] Judith: Yeah.

[00:17:53] TaraFarms: I dunno, I haven't watched it, but I've seen clips and it looks like they just. They run things poorly, not poorly, it's not a well oiled machine intentionally to get good 

[00:18:04] Judith: content.

[00:18:05] Judith: Content, 

[00:18:06] TaraFarms: It's not, it's, it might be a running farm, but it's not making bucks.

[00:18:09] Judith: No, the content is making the money. 

[00:18:11] TaraFarms: The content is making the money.

[00:18:12] Judith: Yeah, so yeah, it's I guess it's not quite the same, but it's like when they send the expert into the kitchen of a restaurant or whatever. 

[00:18:22] TaraFarms: Yeah. Like Gordon Ramsey, like that sort of content.

[00:18:24] Judith: Yeah. So they set it up to fail. That's where you're going to get the drama of the storyline. So that's old reality television tricks. Yeah.

[00:18:34] TaraFarms: That's sort of what you want, but we can't do that because YouTube does not make me much money at all. And so the farm needs to work.

[00:18:42] Judith: Yes. I'm sure your dad would prefer 

[00:18:44] TaraFarms: Yes, dad wants farm properly. So we've got to fix fences and we've got to do that sort of stuff. But there's enough content in just the prime lines, escaping fences and destroying fences that we don't need to fake anything.

[00:18:59] Judith: no, I never knew that was such an issue on a farm that sheep would go through fences. I've seen llamas or alpacas, whatever they were, down in South America, demolish fences. Oh, it's going to jump the fence. No, it's basically just going to push, they're just going to push straight through. But I guess I haven't been aware of it in Australian farms. And I also wasn't aware that, so much of it is moving, sheep moving sheep is actually quite a lot of what you do is getting them from one place to another. Yeah.

[00:19:29] TaraFarms: Yeah. We also have a lot of mobs of sheep. 

[00:19:32] Judith: Yes. That's a lot. Yeah. They're not all in one 

[00:19:35] TaraFarms: No, they're not. So we move, I don't think some people realize I'm working with different mobs every day. If I go onto the map of the farm, we use an app to show everything. I can't show it because of the bloody location.

[00:19:53] Judith: No.

[00:19:55] TaraFarms: And basically we've got, it spans across a very long distance and there's lots and lots of mobs. Are all different mobs what you're seeing.

[00:20:03] Judith: Oh, okay.

[00:20:04] TaraFarms: So it's a big list. It's a very long list. Here we go, we've got 63 different mobs.

[00:20:12] Judith: right. And then you have to rotate them through.

[00:20:16] TaraFarms: Yeah, you move them as soon as the grass gets too short or the grass out, if the grass gets too short, you've got to move them to the next paddock or they're going to over graze. If the grass gets too long, especially this time of year, we've got to put more sheep in there because you're going to end up with lambs being too big and you're going to have problems lambing and you've got to pull everything. You're gonna end up with prolapses, all that sort of stuff. But if your grass gets too low at this time of year, you'll end up with stuff like pregnancy toxemia and you're just getting too weak to birth.

[00:20:44] Judith: Right. 

[00:20:44] TaraFarms: So you've got to manage the pasture, which is, people don't realize, farmers have to manage their pasture to be able to make money.

[00:20:53] Judith: Yeah.

[00:20:54] TaraFarms: So it's in their benefit to help the environment.

[00:20:57] Judith: Yeah, this is really interesting where I guess sometimes, yes, as you said, the comments can get quite toxic. And one of the areas I know you spoke about was where you were getting criticism from people who are vegans or eat plant based meals and are anti eating meat. Because most of unlike in the olden days where Australia rode on the sheep's back it's not wool that's making the money for you anymore is it? It's really in the meat.

[00:21:23] TaraFarms: Yeah, so wool has been steadily declining for quite a number of years which is a shame because it's a renewable resource. It's a by

[00:21:31] Judith: Exactly. Yeah. 

[00:21:33] TaraFarms: It's there. You may as well use it. It's fire resistant. There's so many benefits to it. But yeah, wool's been steadily declining. I think we're getting 50 for a merino fleece at the moment, which is that's Australia grew off the merino's back. So that's not good. Not good at all. I think I remember when I was little dad once told me it was 80 dollars. So that's a significant drop. Merino weathers we had them sitting around for ages because last year we couldn't get any money for them, but it's got to the point where they've just gone everywhere over the farm through the fences and we've just got to get rid of them. And we got 35 a head. So Merino meat's never worth anything. Their only value is in wool and making first cross lambs.

[00:22:22] Judith: Okay. Yeah.

[00:22:23] TaraFarms: Your first cross lambs, when you get your first cross ewes, they're the ones that produce your meat. They're the ones stocking the supermarkets.

[00:22:31] Judith: Okay. Cool. But I do remember at one point I was watching and talking about getting comments about how can you call yourself an environmentalist or how can ethically raise animals and then you know they're going to end up as meat. How can you do that? And I think what you said really struck me is that it's better that somebody is caring about the animals all the way through their life, even if that's why they're being raised for this. And then he showed some clips of how you handle the sheep on the way to the abattoir. And I was really struck by, he said, you try and keep things quiet and you don't use the dogs.

[00:23:07] TaraFarms: Yes.

[00:23:08] Judith: Why do you do that?

[00:23:10] TaraFarms: You want the sheep calm going onto the truck. Big reason, they do it in abattoirs too. Like all the exposing videos of abattoirs, that's like such a mini part of it. And there's a reason why they keep reusing videos because there's so little of it. The abattoirs, they need to keep the animals calm because if they get cortisol in their blood or the sheep are run around before they get on the truck, you're going to get tough meat and just like bad tasting, tainted meat. And no one wants to eat that. It doesn't sell well. So you keep the animals calm, you walk them on. They're packed on. I know they like to show the sheep are packed on, but they're packed like specifically for their safety. Cause if you pack loosely, they lay down and they squash each other when the truck slows down, it stops, that sort of stuff. Everything is done with the sheep's welfare in mind.

[00:24:02] Judith: Yeah,

[00:24:03] TaraFarms: So they're kept calm. They're looked after all the way to the end. And then. It's quick, they're done. 

[00:24:09] Judith: Yeah. 

[00:24:10] TaraFarms: And then they provide protein for someone.

[00:24:14] Judith: And that's part of life, if you think about environmental impact of meat versus plant products you've got to look at the whole cycle of productivity. I remember reading But almond milk being like such a great alternative to milk, but almonds are an incredibly thirsty crop. You've got to look at the entire cycle of food production.

[00:24:34] TaraFarms: Yes, something that's also not taken into account is a lot of farming land you can't crop. We can only crop certain parts of our farm because otherwise you're driving tractors on 45 degree angles.

[00:24:51] Judith: Of course. Yes.

[00:24:52] TaraFarms: Yeah. That's the sort of land you can put your trees on so the soil doesn't erode and then you put your sheep there.

[00:24:59] Judith: Yeah.

[00:24:59] TaraFarms: So then your sheep are producing. Wildlife are there. I see kangaroos every day. I see echidnas, koalas, everything. And they live on the hill and they're all good. They're happy and they live amongst the sheep.

[00:25:13] Judith: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:25:15] TaraFarms: fine. And that's land that we can use to produce something like wool and meat where you couldn't crop. So that's something that's not considered. 

[00:25:26] Judith: Yeah, that's ongoing. It's the balance of all of this. And as you say, pros and cons. So how do you make the decision of which way to go? How do you support yourself to do that? Or what's that process? say,

[00:25:38] TaraFarms: dad.

[00:25:39] Judith: It's up to dad.

[00:25:41] TaraFarms: Dad makes those decisions.

[00:25:43] Judith: And he's been farming for,

[00:25:46] TaraFarms: his life. I think I make the joke. He slid out of the womb with a little shepherd's hook and a lamb under his arm.

[00:25:53] Judith: yeah, so there's years and years of experience and knowledge going into this yeah so no decision is made lightly because one mostly because of, the business cost. And as well as the long term impact on the soil and your products, so yeah. You also, of course these days, being on the land you're also noticing more risk around fire, flood, those sort of things that are going on.

[00:26:17] TaraFarms: Yes. Yeah. I reckon I'm not an expert and I'm not giving advice, but I reckon at some point you won't be able to ensure bushfire overlay areas. But bushfire overlay is very, is becoming a big like insurance. My insurance hiked this year. I've got a little like acreage with just like my pet sheep and stuff. My insurance.

[00:26:42] Judith: Oh, God.

[00:26:44] TaraFarms: Expensive year this year after some all the fires and that sort of stuff. And especially cause we've had three La Nina's in a row. There is so much just like forest bush litter just sitting in the pack, like in all these national parks and state parks, just ready. 

[00:27:04] Judith: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:27:08] TaraFarms: Kind of needs to be either reduced or like just let people take it for firewood because it's going to like, at some point it's going to go and it's going to rip through everything.

[00:27:22] Judith: So let's go back to where we were with you about the risks of natural disasters and that sort of going to be changing your business model and the way you live as well, in terms of cycling. Would that be impacting this lambing cycle as well, the floods and fires?

[00:27:39] TaraFarms: Probably not because we lamb floods aren't so much of a risk because you just move sheep higher or out of like paddocks that are underwater. We had one, day, was it last year? Do you remember that day where it just rained and it rained and there was floods everywhere?

[00:27:57] Judith: Yeah. Oh, I'm in Sydney, but so we've had many of

[00:28:00] TaraFarms: Oh, you might, you probably saw it on the news cause it just rained and there was a lot of Melbourne that flooded like a lot of the low area.

[00:28:07] Judith: I do remember. I remember my brother showing me that. Yeah.

[00:28:10] TaraFarms: Yeah, there was that day and there were paddocks that were just a foot underwater and you just went in and you almost needed a canoe to go in and just move them into the next one, move the next one. And then, then it all just washed away.

[00:28:24] Judith: Yeah.

[00:28:25] TaraFarms: Flyers, that's during lambing cause it's in winter cause we lamb from now through to the end of September. maybe pushing into October. So during, yeah, we, we space it out so we lose less lambs. Lambs are really only vulnerable for a week. And then they can outrun a fox. They can go and force mom to sit down and let them drink and sit with them. They're very demanding little creatures, especially when they're about a month old, they really start getting nasty with their, with the mom's poor udder and they attack it.

[00:29:00] Judith: Yes. Bye.

[00:29:01] TaraFarms: Especially when they got twins and I've seen moms be carried across the paddock.

[00:29:08] Judith: Yeah, lambs and sheep are not pets. Can I just keep saying that? Even the pet lambs are kind of

[00:29:14] Judith: Yeah 

[00:29:14] TaraFarms: they are not pets.

[00:29:15] Judith: Yeah.

[00:29:15] TaraFarms: They're a little, they're little monsters. So they, yeah, they get the mums and they, do what they need to do. But by the time we hit summer, we're weaning and lambs come off mums go back to their paddocks, lambs go to another paddock where they fattened up. So then when you've got bushfires because we're heading into summer, the ewes are all condensed

[00:29:41] Judith: Yeah. 

[00:29:42] TaraFarms: Less, but bigger mobs. We during, as I said earlier, you split them all up when you're lambing, and then you put them all back together, and you end up, with mobs of 800 sheep, and you've got a few of them.

[00:29:54] Judith: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That's a lot of work. Can I just ask you then, what do you think, some of the challenges around your other life with YouTube? Content creating has gone through various iterations, very quickly. The YouTube channels the algorithms have shifted and things like that. What do you think, your major opportunity or major challenges, major opportunities are with that side of your work.

[00:30:21] TaraFarms: So a big advantage to YouTube is, actually I was, talking to someone about this recently and they also do YouTube and they said the best content is when the farm is struggling because people want to see that. People are sick. 

[00:30:38] Judith: We're terrible, yeah.

[00:30:42] TaraFarms: Like sick lamb, I get, heaps more views than just a regular day. That's why when you're making content, you've got to show the sick sheep because people with the turtles, like how you found me, lots of people found me through the turtles and people think we've got a farm full of sick turtles but the reality is you're not going to watch a video of me just showing sheep that are happy versus me with a turtle. And that's a big sort of component to it is YouTube is a back, like a fallback situation where it's going to work as long as people watch. So that's. a big advantage to it's just a diversification. A lot of farms, they do sheep and crops or cattle and crops or, they do something and something else. If the market's totally gone for one thing, you've got another thing, or if you lose all your crops, you've still got your sheep or, that sort of stuff. So the diversification of, we do crops, sheep on YouTube. So we've got something. Not that YouTube does anything at the moment, but who knows what it might become. 

[00:31:58] Judith: But your channel is growing.

[00:31:59] TaraFarms: Yes, it is. It's the long videos like shorts don't make you at much at all.

[00:32:03] Judith: No. 

[00:32:03] TaraFarms: They just, you want people to watch the long stuff and it's very hard to get people to watch. That's a challenge that I'm facing is people will see the short stuff, but they don't really convert like you convert it. That was great to the long stuff, but it's very hard to get people to watch the short stuff to then watch the long stuff. They prefer just watching, oh, 15 seconds, ha, that's funny, next. Whereas they could watch the 20 minute video and get more. People just don't do it.

[00:32:33] Judith: Oh no, the attention span.

[00:32:35] TaraFarms: Yes, it's dropping.

[00:32:36] Judith: it's the TikTok generation, but it's the same thing with podcasting. Like people watch my short, one line quote and go, Oh yeah, no, that's about, I'll probably do, I'll probably do the same. I imagine with newspaper articles all the time come home and sit down

[00:32:49] TaraFarms: Headline.

[00:32:50] Judith: husband.

[00:32:50] Judith: Yeah. Oh, I read this article. Actually, it was a lie. I read the headline.

[00:32:54] TaraFarms: Yeah.

[00:32:54] Judith: And I'm really angry about it.

[00:32:58] TaraFarms: Yeah.

[00:32:59] Judith: Yes. 

[00:32:59] TaraFarms: That's, the way it is. People will see the 15 second video and they're angry. They're not watching before or the after. It's just the 15 seconds.

[00:33:07] Judith: Yeah. - Yes, there's those challenges and the shorts, and actually Anne Reardon, who does How to Cook that she's been around forever she's an Australian content maker as well, who started making cakes and now does food science and debunking and investigations into social media and a whole lot of stuff.

[00:33:24] TaraFarms: That'd be good.

[00:33:25] Judith: She's really good. I'll send you the link. And she actually did this investigation around, there's two things going on. One is this thing, she's trying to get the data about the shorts versus the monetization of shorts. What's actually a view on a short and a whole lot of things like that. Couldn't find out much from YouTube itself or from Google itself, but did her own investigation. And then the second thing she looked into was gender on YouTube. 

[00:33:49] TaraFarms: Females pay more.

[00:33:50] Judith: Yeah, and yeah, and that the AI, the algorithms are biased against women because of historical reasons, et cetera, I was wondering if, being a woman on YouTube is a challenge in that way. 

[00:34:04] TaraFarms: I found women watching, you click yeah. RPM is higher.

[00:34:08] Judith: Okay.

[00:34:09] TaraFarms: So I want women viewers come and watch my content people. 

[00:34:13] Judith: This is what we've found in the film industry. Women actually do want to watch women on screen.

[00:34:18] TaraFarms: Yeah. 

[00:34:19] Judith: Led stories and women's films watch directed by women. Like what a shock. It was a bit of a shock to the industry to find that out. We knew this, inherently. So it's probably the same thing, but if the algorithm is not supporting that.

[00:34:32] TaraFarms: I think I'm treated relatively fairly by the algorithm. Like I make content. I haven't seen anyone else on YouTube make the shit I make. We're not big in Australia, but compared to the other farms that are making content on YouTube we're a sort of bigger farm. I swear, that's, I don't see any other farmers like really do that. So I've got the dog, I've got a very specific thing that hasn't been done, but which I think helps me because I'm different. Like not throwing the same stuff up over and over as what's already out there. Because one of the biggest comments I get is older people, it's usually old women, old lady names. They say, that you've got a potty mouth. I'm going to go watch Sandy or I'm going to watch Cammie or whoever else. And it's okay.

[00:35:23] Judith: Yeah.

[00:35:24] TaraFarms: you're welcome to go. Just watch her. That's fine.

[00:35:27] Judith: Yeah. 

[00:35:27] TaraFarms: My content's not for everyone. I know that. That's just a part of it. But this is the reality. I can pull back but if I remove it then it's not authentic.

[00:35:38] Judith: That's so true. That's what I was gonna say. That value of authenticity really cuts through which again, neither of watch Clarkson's farm, but if there's a sense that it's a setup that might appeal to some people but it won't appeal to people who really wanna see the authenticity of what it is to farm on a big farm in Australia. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:35:56] TaraFarms: Not big in Australia. Big in comparison to the scale of YouTube. We're like small to mid.

[00:36:02] Judith: So a big farm in

[00:36:04] TaraFarms: Big in Australia, like big farm in Australia, there's, I think it's called Diamond Creek. It's bigger than countries, like that's one of the biggest. It's in South Australia somewhere, I don't know what it's called, but it's, yes, that's just unbelievable, that sort of scale. That would be, they've got to go to a helicopter to go get their sheep and cattle in. That would be a nightmare.

[00:36:27] Judith: Don't think of fly a helicopter. Wow. Okay. So we've heard a lot about the challenges of both being on YouTube and being on the farm and how you've managed to make a connection between the two. And really, these values of authenticity, of honesty, of this is what it is and showing that, but also humor to really connect people to the story as well. I guess that's where I came in as well, was the humour. I'm a fan, big fan, I'd highly recommend Tara Farms to anyone who wants a bit of a break from a city living, or if you are in a farm, and you want to see how somebody else is attracting things or just what's going on this is a way for you to do that. What's next for you? What's going to be the next adventure in your life?

[00:37:15] TaraFarms: Don't know. I'm kind of just doing YouTube at the moment to see, I'd like to grow a bigger scale on the YouTube and do more that as well, like a same sort of thing, do that as well as farming. I do YouTube to show people what it looks like. And I'd like more people to look at it with an open mind.

[00:37:40] Judith: Yeah. 

[00:37:41] TaraFarms: And see what it actually looks like before we make judgments based on what you've previously seen.

[00:37:49] Judith: Yeah. Yeah. And I think issues around food production and food. Food production in particular is going to be more and more of something people want to educate themselves about hopefully, and not just jump to conclusions. Yeah, so to have resources like this where you do see what goes on and it's transparent what's going on in the raising of animal husbandry is that term, of looking, of raising livestock for use. And that is the job of farms is to do that. 

[00:38:17] Judith: All right, so so much for your time this morning, keeping away from your baby lambs. And thank you. Now, if you want to know more about Tara, you can check out obviously her YouTube channel and I highly recommend it. Comes out on a Wednesday afternoon in Our Time Sign, which is Australian Eastern Standard Time. And then there's also an Instagram. So you can check her out on both of those and find out more. And the other thing is, I'd also just say, because I just ordered my booty this morning. There's a fantastic merchandise featuring some of Tara's artwork. And featuring her very special dog, Typo. Find that as well, which is at tarafarms. com. au. We'll have all of this linked, obviously in the show notes. And if you've got any questions for Tara you can contact her through our social media. If you get lost, you can contact her through us as well and we'll pass it on. Okay, so thanks very much for being here today. Have a fantastic rest of your week.

[00:39:13] TaraFarms: Thank you so much for having me.

[00:39:14] Judith: You're very welcome, and we'll see everybody this time next week, which is new episodes come out on Monday mornings. And you'll find out about other people's amazing working lives. Okay. Take care and see you soon.

[00:39:28] Judith: Bye. 

Tara's journey into creating YouTube content, initially from a bet
Work-life balance, editing her own videos, importance of authenticity
Physical demands of farm work, lessons from her father
Tara's start on YouTube, different content approaches, challenges
Discussing critics' views on animal farming, environmentalism
Wool industry decline, business impacts of natural disasters
Challenges and opportunities with YouTube, gender biases
Tara's future plans, importance of transparency in food production