Northeast Kingdom duck farmer-influencer finds fame on YouTube

PEACHAM, Vt. (WCAX) – Diversification is a word you hear a lot in farming nowadays. Morgan Gold doesn’t have all his eggs in one basket on his small duck farm. He’s got another commodity that he sells — a Vermont way of life.

Picture perfect Peacham. The Northeast Kingdom town is known for being quaint and quiet, but just outside the village at the Gold Shaw Farm, Morgan Gold has his hands full. “I tell you. It’s always an adventure wrestling up these scaredy-cat ducklings,” Gold said.

He and his wife Allison moved to Peacham from Washington D.C. a few years ago for a new life. Both have side jobs, but Gold hopes farming will eventually be full time. They’re taking on the farm slowly, selling ducks and their eggs.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You know, people of a certain age — like me — think of “Green Acres.”

Morgan Gold: I’ve heard it. “Green Acres,” Chevy Chase in “Funny Farm.” There’s a host of comparisons that we’ve had and I embrace it.

Gold has also embraced technology, including behind the controls of his video-equipped drone. “Basically I’m going for a pan overshot of the farm itself,” he explained.

His other income on the farm? A YouTube influencer, selling his take on the Vermont rural lifestyle. “I’m a guy who has zero agricultural experience, yet I have boatloads of passion,” he said in one of his popular videos.

Twice a week, he posts his Gold Shaw Farm adventures on YouTube. Gold has close to 136,000 subscribers. “I see our comments and it’s coming from people all over the country, but also all across the world, like Thailand, India,” he said.

His most popular? “Our Freakishly Huge Duck” video has over a million hits.

“It’s crazy, right? Yeah, some dude, a bunch of ducks in Peacham. It’s like, I would have never expected either. It’s crazy,” Gold said.

The views mean income. More eyes mean more money YouTube can charge advertisers. On a good month, he can rack in close to $5,000 as a farmer-influencer. Gold’s stories are honest, humble, and humorous.

His added income has helped build the farm. “We’re about to fence in nine-acres of pasture and that’s been paid for all by YouTube,” Gold said.

Ron Miller, who’s helping install the fence, says there’s more to Gold’s YouTube success than meets the eye. “People think, I’ll just take some videos and put them online, and there’s a lot of working in doing that,” he said.

Gold has even put a GoPro on his dog, Toby. “You can even see his shadow moving around, it’s pretty funny,” Gold said.

Farm fresh videos that have people flocking to see what’s next from the 40-year-old farmer-filmmaker. “I would hope to be doing this another 40 years,” Gold said.

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