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01 July 2021
BY DYLAN DE JONG
Wimmera farmer Mark Merrett is using his social media following to entertain and educate Australians about the agriculture sector.
The sixth-generation farmer has grabbed the attention of regional media this year after filming a series of on-farm videos about his life as an agricultural contractor.
Mr Merrett, 23, lives and works on his family farm, a 7000-acre property in the Dinyarrack and Telopea Downs area north of Kaniva, with his wife Chelsey and daughter Alexandra.
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He films, edits and uploads to his YouTube channel ‘Merrett Contracting – Australian Farm’.
He said his channel’s popularity had skyrocketed since the start of the year, growing to more than 4000 subscribers. His most popular video attracted more than 20,000 views.
“I didn’t think it would take off like this. My goal was to get to 100 subscribers,” he said.
“It’s well and truly blown my expectations out of the water.”
Mr Merrett started making videos in 2016 to show his nieces and nephews in Melbourne what life was like on the farm.
In 2019, his wife bought him a GoPro for his birthday after seeing his passion for film-making.
Mr Merrett said he wanted to push into an untapped market and he could see there were few other Australian’s making YouTube videos about agriculture.
“In 2019, I started watching American farmers doing what I’m doing now and I wanted to see some Australian farmers doing the same thing,” he said.
Mr Merrett said his channel started gaining attention when Australians went into a panic-buying frenzy at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
“The channel started slowly, but last year when all the panic buying was happening it really started taking off,” he said.
“It seemed like a lot of people didn’t understand where their food was coming from, which I wanted to highlight in my videos.
“I also realised the videos were an entertaining and educational way to reach an audience.”
The channel has about 80 videos aimed at educating people about agriculture’s important role in society.
Mr Merrett said he wanted to share his passion for the industry with others.
“Farming is in my blood. Growing up, it’s all I wanted to do,” he said.
“It really is such a diverse job. You’re doing so many different things and also the end product that you get is something someone eats to survive.”
Mr Merrett said he hoped his videos would reach a younger demographic to encourage more people into agriculture.
“I really want kids to consider farming as a career,” he said.
“From my experience, farming wasn’t promoted as a career when I was going to school.
“There’s so many different career paths in farming from mechanics, merchant managers, stock management and the list goes on.”
Mr Merrett said he wanted to show people farming was far more than just planting a crop in the ground.
“What people might not be aware of is how technologically advanced farming is nowadays,” he said.
“Quite often it is pictured as you driving your open-cabin tractor, wearing overalls and planting your crops in the ground. You wait and then harvest them.
“It’s much more than that, growing crops and managing livestock is a science.”
The entire June 30, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire June 30,, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!