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Farm offers Goats for Zoom meetings

Located in the beautiful Alden Valley, Lancashire, England, Cronkshaw Fold is a traditional hill farm with a passion for environmentally friendly farming, animal welfare and teaching about the importance of sustainable agriculture.

They usually welcome schools for educational visits, host visitors for farm holidays and hold weddings. But with the Coronavirus pandemic impacting all these areas, the farm has turned to an unusual way of staying afloat.

Cronkshaw Fold recently started to make their goats available for hire via Zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype for £5 per call.

Videoconference a Goat

Dot McCarthy, 30, farmer at Cronkshaw Fold Farm came up with the unusual idea to earn income whilst they’re closed to the public.

She said: “I had the random idea because I know people like goats and they’re naturally curious animals so they will stare at the camera and skip about. I feel so lucky that I live on a farm at the moment and I get to be outside and interact with the animals. I know so many people are missing that.”

Within two days of launching, the farm have been inundated with bookings from business meetings to church services to pub quizzes.

The scheme has been so popular that the farm has been able to rehire staff who they had been forced to let go when the UK entered lockdown.

“It’s insanity, we’ve had interest from Australia, New Zealand and Canada. We were part of a Eurovision quiz in Berlin. They loved it and kept asking the goat questions.”

What can Museums learn from these Goats

This enterprising initiative from Cronkshaw Fold Farm is great example of a visitor attraction finding a new source of revenue during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Many museums have live animals or other experiences that could translate to Zoom in a similar way to the Cronkshaw Fold Goats. Would people pay for a private Zoom tour behind the scenes in your museum or to chat with a curator about their favourite painting?

Cronkshaw Fold Farm have shown that earning income in this way is possible. Not sure how to convince your Director to give the idea a go? Book them a call with Susan and let her convince them.

About the author – Jim Richardson

Jim Richardson is the founder of MuseumNext. He has worked with the museum sector on digital and innovation projects for more than twenty years and now spends his time championing best practice through MuseumNext.

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