Tweeting Breckland farmer will reach a national audience during show week

Breckland farmer Rob Simonds with his large black pigs. Picture: Ian Burt

Breckland farmer Rob Simonds with his large black pigs. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A Breckland pig farmer has been given the chance to tweet about his rare-breed livestock and champion local food webs to a national audience during the week of the Royal Norfolk Show.

Starting from Monday, Rob Simonds, who keeps a herd of large black pigs at Oxborough, near Swaffham, will take control of the @FarmersOfTheUK account, which features a different farmer from around the country every week.

It will give Mr Simonds, who is known on Twitter as @RobThePigman, access to more than 20,000 followers during a busy seven days in the region's farming calendar.

He said he aims to promote his Breckland base and tweet observations from the Royal Norfolk Show, as well as highlighting the day-to-day lifestyle of looking after his pigs and shearing his flock of Romney sheep.

But he hopes his messages will reach beyond the farming industry.

'If we are not careful it is just going to be 'farmer to farmer' but we want to try and get it out there further,' he said.

'I think the main thing for me is to raise the profile of Breckland. We are trying to promote our large black pigs and the environment of the Brecks, the way we farm on these light soils and how it offers an opportunity to do high-welfare free-range farming.

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'We are also trying to push the local food web and the local butchers we use. And then we have the Royal Norfolk Show – I am only going as a visitor, but I will be running a critical eye over other people's livestock in the rings, and we want to be a part of the theme of 'Grow It, Cook It, Eat It'.'