people living in rural areas can look forward to a brand new TV show, ‘Farming Now’, that promises to breathe new life into rural communities while simultaneously providing a global platform for Irish farming.
And it’s all coming from young Cork farmer Katie Shanahan – with the help of her pets Skye, Polly and Dolly.
Many people agree that the rural way of life in Ireland has been decimated over the past few decades owing to various factors such as the closure of post offices, creameries and country pubs, often leading to loneliness and isolation for local populations. However, Farming Now aims to focus on the agri sector, the equine industry and rural lifestyles while also touching on subjects such as farm safety, animal health and the latest farming equipment as well as mart reports from Ireland and the UK.
The concept for the new show has been developed by Hot Country TV proprietor and Cork native Hugh O’Brien who has been broadcasting his hugely popular country and Irish music shows over the past 13 years.
Hosting the new show will be Katie Shanahan, a young farmer from West Cork who is very excited to be presenting a brand new programme on television.
The Corkman spoke to Katie who said she is always happiest when farming at home with her parents and brothers. She still works part time on the family farm and recently completed her Green Cert at Clonakilty Agricultural College as well as achieving a masters in marketing and management at UCC.
“During the Covid lockdown I started posting on social media to promote agriculture, I didn’t think it would be so successful. I put the success down to being as relatable as possible and having fun on the farm while spreading a positive message about agriculture,” said Katie who has to date amassed over 150,000 followers online.
After coming home from work, Katie can be found on the family farm with her collie puppy Skye and her pet sheep Dolly and Polly who have also become internet sensations! “Polly and Dolly were my pet lambs during the first lockdown. During a very lonely and difficult time for everyone they were my constant. They needed round the clock care and kept me motivated. They are now two years old and having their own babies,” she said.
Katie was approached by Hot Country TV proprietor Hugh O’Brien through her social media pages. “I was excited to hear about the new programme, Hugh told me all about his exciting plans and how this programme could depict agriculture in such a positive light. Working with the show will also educate me further on many aspects of farming and I can’t wait to get started,” she said.
”I’m very proud to be a woman in agriculture and am excited to join the Farming Now Team. I hope to learn more about the world of farming through being involved in this programme,” she said.
Katie will shortly start her placement as a graduate student with Herdwatch, a farming app. “Currently, myself and my brothers are at a stage on the farm where we are constantly looking to make advancements, whether through technology, machinery or just the day to day running to make the working day more efficient.
“There have been massive improvements on the farm in terms of modernity but I will never argue the fact that all the farming knowledge I have (despite going to college) has come from the hands-on work I do everyday with my dad and brothers,” she said.
“By presenting this programme I hope to bring a new fresh relatable personality to TV. I hope my knowledge and interest in farming will shine through and I can learn more along the way,” Katie said.
Meanwhile, the regular country and Irish shows on Hot Country are viewed globally, airing weekly on Monday nights. Hot County TV has been broadcasting for almost 14 years and continues to provide Irish artists with a worldwide platform for their music.
‘Farming Now’ will launch on Hot Country TV on Monday, April 3 from 10-11pm and thereafter weekly, on Sky 181, free-to-air satellite and worldwide at www.hotcountrytv.com website and free apps.