For Kirbie Nichols, co-owner of Speedwell Farms in Lyndonville, the average workday starts in the barn at 3:30 in the morning, Pop-Tart in hand. It takes her an hour to get the milking units affixed to the first eight of 107 milking cows on the dairy operation she runs with her father, Brian Nichols, and family friend Herbie Bennett.
Between her daily chores of milking, breeding, calving and moving cows, the 20-year-old also finds time to create TikTok videos. She began posting videos solely about the farm in January 2021, when she made a TikTok of herself prepping to milk the cows. The clip, set to the song “Thank a Farmer '' by James Wesley, received more than 900 likes. She realized people could engage with and learn from her posts.
Her first video to go viral, "Manure Happens," got half a million views. It was about accidentally sending milk to the milk tank from a cow being treated with antibiotics. Normally, while cows are receiving medication, their milk is thrown away. After a prescribed withholding period, their milk is safe to drink again. Nichols made the video to cope with the disappointment of having to dump the entire tank she accidentally tainted. "That's the worst thing that could happen . . . to put a treated cow in the tank," Nichols said.
Showcasing her life as a young woman in agriculture for her 6,236 TikTok followers has become a passion for Nichols. In one of her latest videos, she lists the cows she would have as bridesmaids to the song "Bridesmaids" by Kylie Morgan. Pinky, one of her favorite cows, got her through high school, she explains in the video. Barb would post her bail.
Follow Kirbie Nichols on TikTok at Farmerkirb.
Click here to read the full article by Rebecca White at Seven Days.