Central Taranaki Blogger’s ‘Heels 2 Boots’ Love Story
Taranaki blogger’s ‘Heels 2 Boots’ love story
Staring down the barrel of a camera, Sophie Brown is momentarily distracted by a noisy, low-flying plane overhead.
The usually unflappable Taranaki farmer quickly tilts her camera skyward, attempting to catch a glimpse of the winged intruder.
The chatty blonde’s out in an old barn introducing viewers of her video blog to the 80 bull calves she’s rearing this spring.
“We buy them off dairy farmers, feed them up and soon they’ll be scattered on the hills around the farm,” Sophie says, pointing off camera.
Sophie and her husband Nick Brown live on a 530 hectare drystock farm in the rugged hills of Huinga, east of Stratford.
Her video blog ‘Heels 2 Boots’ is garnering national attention for her efforts to educate people about farm life.
“We’ve currently got ewes lambing, yearling bulls and we’re rearing calves for the first time. So it keeps us pretty busy,” laughs the 29-year-old.
But Sophie hasn’t always lived in the country. The trained speech therapist grew up in Christchurch, where she met Nick in 2010.
After a stint working and travelling overseas, the couple moved back to Taranaki in 2014.
“I found living on a farm quite tough to begin with,” said Sophie.
“Most country kids are born with things like stock sense – I had to learn all of that from scratch.”
“But I’m not the first girl to start dating a farmer, move to a rural area and have no idea,” she laughed.
Sophie hopes her latest project will give city dwellers a humorous insight into how food and fibre are produced.
In June, she started filming video blogs which feature the hard-working couple feeding calves, shifting sheep and fencing.
Spectacular drone footage of dogs being used to muster sheep on steep hills features in a vlog about scanning.
“Scanning can be quite a nerve-racking time. It’s where we learn how many lambs each ewe will give birth to,” said Sophie.
“The more carrying twins the better.”
Sophie posts the videos to her ‘Heels 2 Boots’ YouTube and Facebook pages, where they’re shared around world.
“My aim is to help increase people’s understanding of what happens on farm,” she said.
The 29-year-old squeezes in editing sessions between weighing calves, helping drench sheep and grubbing thistles.
Sophie and Nick are both active members Central Taranaki Young Farmers.
Earlier this year Nick was also elected chairperson of Taranaki Federated Farmers’ Meat and Fibre section.
“This is our way of sharing positive stories about farming and showing how rewarding a career in agriculture can be,” said Nick.