I’m from Rhode, Co Offaly. I’m 17 and doing my Leaving Cert. We’ve a suckler and sheep farm here. It’s my grandfather’s farm, but it’s very much family run. We all help out.

My grandfather, I really look up to him. It’s great to have the older generation, everything he knows is just in his head. You see younger people coming up and sometimes they have this attitude that they know more than the older generation.

I’m a TikToker. TikTok is a social media platform where you share videos. I’ve 67,000 followers at the moment.

I joined it in September 2019, just because my friends were talking about it. I didn’t go on it and think I was going to have such a following.

Lauren Ennis is from a suckler and sheep farm.

I was observing the app and I saw there was a gap for agri videos. I said, you know what, I’m going to give it a go. I was thinking, there have to be people out there who will relate to these videos if they’re a farmer or from the countryside.

A lot of my videos are advocating for women in ag

On TikTok there are trends. A certain sound that you put your video to will go viral or maybe a certain dance and you’ll see everyone doing it. What I do is, I take it apart and I make it agri then. You have people who are into cars, making these trends about cars. You have people who are into GAA, making it about GAA. A lot of my videos are advocating for women in ag. There are some dance ones too, because it’s a bit of craic as well.

Women in ag

It wasn’t just one video that went viral for me. They all did well and the following just grew and grew.

I get hate from lads for posting farming videos. I’m not saying it’s every single lad, but there’s a percentage of them.

The thing that stuck with me was that I saw more farming girls posting. They were thinking, well if she’s doing it, so can I; it doesn’t matter what they’re going to say.

That was the most important aspect of it for me, empowering women and young girls. I was thinking, if I had social media when I was younger and I saw a girl a bit older than me working in agriculture, seeing lads trying to bring her down and her not letting it affect her, then I’d have a bit more confidence in myself and know it’s wrong.

The hate is just based on your gender, the fact that you’re a female

That’s the thing, women empowering women, probably the most valuable tool you have as a girl or woman is to empower others. I’m not going to lie, the hate, it used to bother me. What didn’t really sit right with me was, it’s not actually based on you as a person.

The hate is just based on your gender, the fact that you’re a female. They believe because they’re a young lad or a man or whatever that they’re superior or better than you.

The more I thought about it, I was kind of like, they don’t know me as a person and they’re probably insecure about their masculinity, so they’re bringing down a girl to make them feel better about themselves.

The other aspect to the farming videos as well, they get a lot of vegan backlash. I think platforms like TikTok are probably the best way we can promote the industry.

It just annoys me when people see that one documentary from one industry in a certain country and then they fight tooth and nail with every other country on farming.

Lauren Ennis is going to do her Green Cert in Kildalton after the Leaving Cert.

Social media power

TikTok, I really do like it, because everyone can have a voice. I know it’s bad in terms of misinformation or if it’s used in a negative way. If you use it in a positive way, you can really make a difference in the world or make an impact on people.

I feel like in Ireland there’s a perception with the older generation and social media, they’re a bit negative towards it. I do feel like the younger generation are driving on and it will be the main source of getting things out there.

There’s no other social media platform where you can start out with nothing and go viral

TikTok, in my opinion, is the most powerful social media outlet at the moment. It has really changed social media, because you can start out with no followers and all of a sudden your video can go viral. There’s no other social media platform where you can start out with nothing and go viral.

On the other social media platforms you have to build up your following slowly. That’s how TikTok really changed the ballgame, in my opinion.

Farming around the world

After school I know for a fact it’ll be something in the ag sector I do. Which direction it goes, I don’t really know. I got accepted to Kildalton three weeks ago. So I’m hoping to go there and get the Green Cert to start off.

A dream of mine is to experience farming in as many different countries as possible. Farming is such a unique thing, because in every corner of the world you have farming, you have to for food. But even how it can vary from Ireland to England is really interesting. That’s one of the other reasons I’m so glad that I joined TikTok, because I see women in ag all over the world and what they’re doing.

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