London·Q & A

This Perth County farmer racked up 1 million social media followers doing chores

From sheep shearing to late night lamb birthing, Perth County farmer Sandi Brock is giving a behind-the-scenes look at the farming life through her videos — and has built an audience of more than a million followers on YouTube alone doing it. 

Sandi Brock is one of the latest inductees into Stratford Perth Museum's Agricultural Wall of Fame

Sandi Brock shares her day-to-day life farming sheep on social media. (Sheepishly Me/Facebook)

From sheep shearing to late night lamb birthing, Perth County farmer Sandi Brock is giving a behind-the-scenes look at the farming life through her videos — and has built an audience of more than a million followers on YouTube doing it. 

Brock shares bits of her day-to-day life living on a grain farm caring for about 400 sheep on her farm north of London near Exeter with her family.

She's also one of the latest inductees into Stratford Perth Museum's Agricultural Wall of Fame for her work as an agricultural influencer.

Sandi Brock spoke with CBC's Colin Butler on Afternoon Drive

The following has been edited for length and clarity. 

LISTEN: How Sheepishly Me came to be

An agricultural influencer with a large social media following for her videos of day-to-day farm life is being inducted to the Stratford Perth Museum's agricultural wall of fame. Sandi Brock of 'Sheepishly Me' joins Afternoon Drive host Colin Butler to share more.

Colin Butler: How does it feel to be honoured in this way?

Sandi Brook: It's very humbling, number one, but also it doesn't feel deserving. To me, when someone gets honoured in the community it's because like they've given so much of their time volunteering — like real physically, they're there for their community. I don't really feel like that with my YouTube channel. It's just literally an extension of me. It's such a different sort of way of being honoured. I'm just trying to digest it all, if you will.

CB: If you think about it, you are volunteering, right? You're volunteering your life, you're giving it to the community. You're letting them know what it's like to be a steward of the land and to take care of the animals that are in your charge. Speaking of which, can you tell us about your farm?

SB: My husband Mark and I run a pretty large grain farm. It was his dad's farm and his grandma's farm before that. So, we are technically third generation. We are on about 1,700 acres of grain. We grow corn, wheat, soybeans; we grow a little canola. We grow feed for the sheep, of course we grow some, some hay, some alfalfa.

In 2012, I was working with his family on a poultry farm and then we sort of wanted to go out on our own. So I ended up with about 50 sheep and I'm now sitting around 400. I've decided over the years that I do better with a few less. So I'm at around 400 currently and can stay very busy.

Colin Butler: What was it that made you decide to start sharing about your life on social media in the first place?

SB: I get asked this question a lot. I really did start as a way to connect with my peers, especially when I started in with the sheep because I started from scratch. I had no idea what I was doing.

Then I started actually just sharing what I had learned. I always learned the hard way. And I don't want someone else to make the same mistakes as I did.

I was just really learning how to sheep farm from scratch and then just just dabbling my toes in Facebook. I did a few Facebook lives lambing and people just really loved it. And I'm like, OK, there's something here.'

Then I talked to some other people that were doing social media in other platforms and they're like, no, you've got something there. You should, you should really look at doing more. And it was my kids. I kind of was watching what they were interested in the most in terms of social media. And they really grew up watching YouTube and I'm like, oh, maybe, maybe YouTube is a good home. 

CB: What do they think of this?

SB: My kids watch YouTube all the time. They don't even play video games anymore. I think when I started, my daughter was 15 and my son would have been 17. So I'm sure to them, it was super cringey. My daughter's been my number one supporter and cheerleader, so she's helped me a lot on that side. My son is more my tech guy, so he'll help me when I'm like losing my marbles on the computer, but they've learned to appreciate the work that goes behind it. They're not as cringed out now.

It has really significantly helped contribute to our farm. It's really cool how it's evolved over the years.