The confinement gave rise to new, sometimes surprising, activities. A farmer in the English Lancashire region, Dot McCarthy, raised a nice sum by renting her goats to private individuals who want them to participate in their Zoom meetings.
Initially, it was a simple joke, launched by the farmer when asked how she planned to get along financially, when she can no longer rent her farm for weddings or organize educational visits. , which usually allowed him to make ends meet.
Last April, she decided to put an ad online to offer what she humorously presents as “the best service of all time”, with the sole ambition of making her friends laugh. But the day after it went online, the ad had aroused the interest of nearly 200 people.
Dot McCarthy, 32, who had taken over her parents’ farm five years ago, decided to give it a go. And the success was immediate. She told the BBC that she has already raised nearly 60,000 euros thanks to her new activity, adding that it is much more fun for her than selling manure, which she would have done if not to bring in money.
It costs its clients around 5 euros to hire a goat, which will then join (remotely and via video, of course) the Zoom meeting, helped by the farm workers.
For the farmer, the way a simple joke turned into a smash hit was “the shock of her life.” Its clientele is not limited, in fact, to England alone. His goats have already participated in Zoom meetings organized in China, the United States, Russia and even Australia.
A family even rents one of the goats once a week, every Sunday morning. “They call her Marg and she’s part of the family now,” says Dot McCarthy.
With the money earned, the latter was able to keep all of her full-time employees, and even invested in converting her farm to renewable energy.