Elodie and Julien Bahuon: “Our animals are what we prefer to film”

Elodie and Julien Bahuon there is breeders hour sulniac into Morbihan, in organic production. Monsieur started in 2016 with a suckling farm and a pig farm. Madame joined the St. Eloi farm in 2019 by taking over the neighboring dairy farm. Both knew the agricultural environment with their grandparents, but settled outside the family circle. Before becoming a farmer, Julien worked on a pig farm for 15 years, and Elodie worked as a flower seller. Today, the 120-hectare farm is mostly devoted to grass. They also cultivate 10 hectares of fodder corn and 10 hectares of grain meadow. The 50 dairy cows are mostly Holsteins, but the herd also includes Normans, Pies Rouges and Jerseys. The cattle herd includes about thirty limousine dairy cows. After several years in the profession, “We are no longer taken as a joke” He observes Julian. When talking about their work, they insist on animal welfare, which is a daily reality for them. Along with Limousins, they practice the Souvignet method and can hunt their animals today. But first it was them “savages”, “leak”, Julien recalls. Three young children fill the days at home. This does not prevent the couple from talking about their daily life as breeders on social networks for almost two years. They share this profession, which is very close to their hearts, without putting it on stage. Without a filter, they sometimes let out a little rant. “Despite all this work”, income does not follow, they wanted to express with a recent video. But the passion for breeding remains intact, and that’s the main thing. How and why did they make this choice to communicate? They took some time to explain this to us over the phone this Monday, December 5th. The interview.

Why are you on social media?

Julien and Elodie Bahuon – “At first we were not in networks. We opened the Facebook account in 2016, when the takeover happened. We crowdfunded the installation and had family help. We started it so that everyone, even our customers, could hear it. We wanted to show our work, births… We also launched the animal sponsorship system. We have tried to develop communication and we have seen that it works. The reports we often see show the largest farms or, conversely, somewhat marginal farms with very few animals. With what we do, people see a farm representative of the majority of farms in France in real conditions. Our workload is the work of many farms. We still see the reality of a somewhat devalued profession in books and media. Some think that breeders are barbaric when animal welfare is our concern. »

“People see the farm representative of the majority of farms in France in real conditions. »

What social networks are you on?

Julien Bahuon – “Elodi signed up for assembly training, and the coach advised her to create a YouTube channel. That’s why we launched our “Daily Growers” in March 2021. We also participate with weekly posts on Facebook. We are also on Instagram every day, which creates a connection between personal life and professional life. With all these networks, we open up a lot and people know us more than we think. It’s a way to share our work. »

How many subscribers do you have and who is your best audience?

JB – “We have 14,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel. 70% of them are people from the agricultural community: farmers, retirees, young people… We have subscribers in France and abroad: in Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Tahiti… They have the same breed. The other day I had a conversation with a Quebecer for 2 hours. Our most viewed video is Prudence, a cow falling on concrete. The first video also gained a strong following. It was about pig production. It rained. There aren’t many breeders showing animals on YouTube. And recently, our video “Rag” has collected 56 thousand views. »

You are back with an update to this video. Did it generate a lot of reactions?

J. and EB – “What we want to say is that even if we love our work, it is not normal that it does not pay. It generated a lot of comments and we responded to 80% of the messages. We told ourselves that people made an effort to respond and we should make an effort to respond. Although it took us a long time. We had a few disparaging comments, but most of the reactions were kind. »

Do you regularly have adverse reactions?

J. and EB – “We have few negative comments, but there is one person who has always been the same and has a hostile reaction for 6 months. It so happened that there was a subscriber who gave him a very short answer. We are not attacked by animal associations. We show our animals, and they see that we take care of them. We have now made over a hundred videos and acknowledge that we are not getting paid by YouTube. It’s always nice to comment. »

“There are parents who watch us with their children. »

Have a post you regret?

Elodie B. – ” No. Out of jealousy, there was a day when I said to myself “maybe it shouldn’t have happened”. However, it passed. We even learned that the video is used as a teaching aid in accounting classes at the agricultural high school near our house. »

Are there any posts that amuse you?

EB. – “Sometimes we have fun with little things, but it’s mostly on Instagram. For example, when you dance in the milking parlor. Another time, when the pigs ran away. We didn’t laugh, but we keep smiling even when it’s hard. »

You have about 30% of your audience. Why do you think they are following you?

J. and EB – “There are parents who follow us with their children. We get comments like “we are used to watching you on Sunday mornings”. We show reality. That’s how we have it. That’s probably what they’re looking for. Often, the general public’s perception of agriculture is truly distorted. For example, people consider an animal with horns and a black color to be a bull. To many, Angus cows are bulls. »

How do you make and shoot your videos? How often do you send them?

J. and EB – “Our animals are what we prefer to film. We don’t plan too far in advance. Sometimes we say 10 minutes before: “We are going to shoot.” There is no script. We film ourselves every day and post a video on Wednesday or Thursday of the week. We also produce longer videos on a specific topic, such as the silo area. We put it online on weekends, every 15 days. One or two meetings a week is a bit complicated for our schedule. But if we don’t post a video for 10 days, Internet users will “call us to order”. We are careful and try to show beautiful images. For example, we avoid filming when there is a lot of mud. We need to stay fairly general and not use too many technical terms for the general public discovering our farm. What we want to show, especially to breeders, is that we know how to control our animals and make them “cool”. »

You seem relaxed and always in a good mood in front of the camera, is that natural?

Elodie B. – “I am more comfortable than a year ago, but I don’t like public speaking very much. There we are in our daily life and everything is fine on a daily basis. There are less easy times, but we will not bemoan our fate. »

You have a cow named Macron, is it to deliver little political messages?

J. and EB – “We bought a cow called Makron, daughter of Holland. But no, we are not interested in politics or the agricultural union. We do not find ourselves in their speeches. We settled outside the family, we were workers before we settled. As we settled in, we felt we would have to prove ourselves. We are searching for our place and seeking recognition. »

Are there things about agriculture on social media that annoy you?

JB – “We don’t like farmers placing products very much. We also sometimes see people exposing themselves. One of my favorite Instagram trends is young women posing with their pets. They are rarely men. This is perhaps a legacy of the old patterns: “men on tractors and women milking”. However, it is not material things that keep us alive, but animals. »

“We have to stay fairly general and not use too many technical terms for the general public discovering our farm. »

How much time do you spend on social media?

EB – “One and a half to two hours a day. Video editing takes time from 5 am to 8 pm. It’s for drone videos that I spend the most time on. You have to collect everything, sort everything, put the thumbnails on YouTube. But in terms of transitions, I make it simpler than before. But it’s important to do it and do it well, that is, regularly. Otherwise, we have messages from YouTube. I care about the post. Julien checks Facebook in the evening. He is the one who responds to comments. With social networks, we no longer watch TV. »

What would you say to farmers who want to start?

J. and EB – “Go ahead, but don’t be too technical. It’s a complicated start, but you don’t have to play. »

Can you become a YouTube influencer?

J. and EB – “We once said yes to the insurer because it was a video where we talked about our farm. But if it has nothing to do with the products we use, no. We don’t really consider ourselves YouTubers. We realize this by going out and sometimes being recognized. It’s working right now, but we’re not betting on everything. Our business is farmers. »

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