Covid-19 lockdown hit several businesses hard but at the time of this unprecedented crisis, many business owners also came up with innovative ideas. In addition to the farming activities, Dot McCarthy used to support her farm by hosting educational visits and weddings. But as social distancing was imposed during the Covid-19 crisis, Dot had to think of other ways to support her business. An unusual idea popped into the mind of this 32-year-old farmer which she initially brushed off as a joke.
With Zoom meetings happening all around, Dot thought that she should rent out her goats for these online meetings. She had put this idea as a joke on her website but the response to it was unexpected. As reported by the BBC, she received 200 emails from those who got curious after reading about the innovative concept.
As the idea materialised, the owner of the Cronkshaw Fold Farm in Rossendale, Lancashire, has so far earned £50,000 (Rs 49,80,919) from this business.
The goats at her farm join Zoom meetings and surprise the participants, just to lighten up the day. Those willing to hire the goats can pay a charge of £5. Staff members of the farm join the video call via the link shared by the meeting organisers and that’s how the goat appears in the scheduled meetings.
Dot used the money earned through this business idea to not only keep her farm running and staff employed during the pandemic, but also was able to introduce some improvements in her farm. In order to reduce the carbon footprint, she plans to use the money for installing a renewable energy source at her farm.
The goats of the Cronkshaw Fold Farm are quite popular now. The report says that a family books Margaret, one of Dot’s goats every week. They want to catch up on all the details of Margaret’s week. Dot said that this family affectionately calls the goat Marg.
Customers from different countries like Australia, US, Russia and China have contacted the farm so far to get meetings with the goats.
Dot inherited this site from her mother five years ago and has certainly changed the way people envision farms. Her idea has gained recognition and in fact, Dot said that they struggle to keep up with the number of calls.
Apart from Dot, there are two staff members who work at the farm. She said that arranging calls for her goats is more fun and easier than selling manure which she does to raise the farm’s revenue.