Today we woke up at our second farm stay families' and here is a summary of what each of us did at our farm stays:
|Dr. Walker returning from her farm stay, which funny enough was with the local head cop and his family (she was definitely not arrested)|
|Hattie, Jessica, Brandon and Rob after being dropped off. (They forgot to take a picture with their families because of the busy morning)|
Naomi and Angel stayed with Paula and Roger Thompson along with their daughter, Ruby, and a worker from Germany. They run a 700 acre red deer and sheep operation along with their Bed & Breakfast. Roger also has around 50 cows that they use to groom the pasture for their sheep. They have Romney sheep that they grow for meat and the fleeces are shipped to make carpet. They have around 1,200 sheep and 300 red deer. When we first arrived at their house, we talked as Paula finished preparing the lamb, peas, and potatoes. We continued with wonderful conversation and then dessert. After dessert, we continued to talk and watch television. When we got up in the morning, Paula made us breakfast before Roger took us on a tour of their farm and let us see some of his herding dogs in action.
Scott and Jacob stayed with Steven and Melanie Wilson. They live on a 1,500 acre farm with sheep, beef cattle, and deer. The farm belongs to a local businessman, Steven works on the farm and Melanie has a job in town. Last night, they served us a dinner of lamb, corn, pumpkin, peas, and chocolate pudding with cream for dessert. We then watched a rugby game and talked for a couple of hours. We discussed a lot of topics, including politics, gun laws, farm issues including economics and animal welfare, and cost of living differences between New Zealand and the United States. In the morning, we had cereal and toast for breakfast and Steven drove us around their farm.
Maria and Kathryn stayed with Nigel and Jayne Beer, along with their daughter Aleina. They live on a farm comprised of 1,500 acres of land/pasture, including a wetland that is used for hunting native birds. On their farm, they raise Lincoln sheep and Angus cows. Nigel farms with his two brothers that live close to the farm. Jayne works into town as a sports coordinator for the college. We watched Britain’s Got Talent for a while and chatted a little bit before dinner. We were then given a dinner that included mutton chops, peas, mashed potatoes, and pumpkins, along with a torte and fresh whipped cream for dessert. Afterwards, we watched Pirates of the Caribbean. In the morning, we were given a small tour of the farm. Including a look at their wool shed, and getting to meet their horses that are used for recreation and sport.
|Jayd and Devin with their farm stay mom|
Alana and Megan with their farm stay mom
Sam and Ashley stayed with Mark and Gillian Evans and their three daughters Adrianna (12) Chonelle (10) and Gabby (6). Mark manages a station where he raises 6400 Romney ewes, 300 Angus cows, and also feeds out dairy heifers. We had supper when we arrived, with lamb roast, broccoli with cheese sauce, carrots, and roasted potatoes. For dessert, we were offered pudding cake, which was amazing! We talked to Mark about farming and his operation for most of the evening. In the morning, we got bacon, eggs, and hash browns. We also got to go out with Mark, and ride around his paddocks looking at his property lines, sheep, and cows. It was a very fun and interesting farm stay!
|Kylie and Kasey with their farm stay family|
Katelyn G and Katelyn J stayed with Vilma Soldevilla. She lives in town with her husband, who works on a 950 dairy cattle farm with a 50 cow rotary, and they have two children, a boy and a girl. They moved to New Zealand about 5 years ago from the Philippines. When he was working in Saudi Arabia, he said it was harder work because there was very little extra time to get the cows all milked.
|Shawn, Seth, Cody and Jason with their farm stay family|
Kirby and Kadem spent the evening with Theresa and Cliver Wilson. Theresa has two part-time jobs, one as a teacher’s aide in the local primary school, and the other as a farmhand at a local dairy farm. The dairy farm she works at milks 1000 cows once a day because it is the end of the season. They will be drying off their entire herd at the end of the week. Cliver works as a truck driver for a fertilizer company for 10 months of the year, and spends the other two months doing mechanic work for people in town. He also has been a heavy equipment operator in the gold mines. They served mutton with spuds, carrots, and cabbage. The meal was followed with dessert of ice cream, berries, custard, and cream. The rest of the evening was filled with good conversation. The next morning, we had breakfast which was eggs, sausage, baked beans, and toast. After a cup of tea and a trip around town, we headed back to the bus.
|Dathan and Bennet with their farm stay mom|
Brandon and Rob stayed with Michelle Mitchell. They had a delicious dinner of lamb, salad, potatoes and tomato sauce. They had a very good conversation about agriculture and gun laws in the US compared to New Zealand. After supper, Rob and Brandon tagged along to go hunting for hare, deer, and possums with the guys for the Big 3 contest. After being out for an hour, we ended up with a bad/dead torch battery, and a dead truck battery, and had to be picked up by the ladies, and were able to get a hare by the end of the night.
|Kelly and her farm stay family|
Kelly stayed with Nic and Paul Bennett, last night for the farm stay. Nic and Paul own 750 acres of land and own 2,000 headwater sheep and this is their main source of income. In addition they feed 50 Hereford/ Fresian cross cattle and 100 dear. For supper, we had a delicious meal of lamb, chicken, rice, potatoes, and Pavlova. In the morning we had breakfast, and went outside to move the sheep and cattle to different paddocks.
Ron and Ben stayed with Debbie and Greg Drummond, who provide pasture and fodder beets for producers in need of feed in the winter, and they enjoyed their farm stay as well. Julie stayed with Eveline Roberts and got to learn more about the horse industry here in New Zealand and enjoyed her farm stay as well.
|Dunedin from afar.|
|Seth frolicking along the Moeraki Beach|
Overall it was a fun day and we all enjoyed our farm stays. We are also all getting pretty excited for or long flights back to see all of you.
From yours truly,
Brandon and Jessica