Ag Exchange Programs , Whats Your Experience ? - The Combine Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Ag Exchange Programs , Whats Your Experience ?

I have been giving this alot of thought the past week . I am slated for surgery later this month , and a friend of ours who has helped out with seeding in the past wants to pursue other interests . Looks like we will need some help this upcoming crop year . Have any members out there participated as a host family with international Ag exchange programs ? What have your experiences been and what organizations would you recommend ?. I realize that we are probably a little late looking into this as an option but are willing to seriously look into this . Looking forward to your replies .

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 02:05 AM
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I too am looking at getting a trainee/ag exchange/farmaroo type person on our farm. Does anyone have any suggestions which ag exchange groups are good/poor. As far as the people and the programs. Just thought id throw it out there because I'm basically going into this blind. pro/cons. Any insight is welcomed. Thx

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 02:20 AM
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I went on an exchange program when I was out of high school. It was called I.A.E.A. (International agricultural exchange association). Home Page ¬Ľ Agriventure

contact them.....they could hook you up.

I've been getting Ag university students from France for the past couple of years. Part of their schooling is to work in an ag related job in an English speaking country for 4 months. They get here in June and go back the first week of October. So far it's worked well for us and it's a rewarding experience. Most of them have a ag background and learn quickly. They love the wide open space and gear we run over here.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by tmk View Post
I have been giving this alot of thought the past week . I am slated for surgery later this month , and a friend of ours who has helped out with seeding in the past wants to pursue other interests . Looks like we will need some help this upcoming crop year . Have any members out there participated as a host family with international Ag exchange programs ? What have your experiences been and what organizations would you recommend ?. I realize that we are probably a little late looking into this as an option but are willing to seriously look into this . Looking forward to your replies .
That reminds me of a smart ass young cockie who employed a dickhead back packer to drive his brand new big Case 7288, 45 feet comb. He lasted about 15 minutes and made the comb into a boomerang and rooted the feeder house as well. But he was only 8 bucks and hour and he got every cent of it, when he got kicked off the place.

Most good men have jobs and basturds are plentiful.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 07:35 AM
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I did a Ag exchange with MAST (Minnesota Ag Student Trainee)

I was i the US for nearly 2 years including 3 months studying at University of St Paul in Minnesota.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 10:24 AM
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30 years ago I came to the US as an exchange student through Ohio state University. they are still going and have a great intern programme.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 10:40 AM
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Farmers sons or daughters out of Australia, aged 21 and over would be your best bet.
We'll experienced and eager to learn new techniques over 6 months between our seeding and harvest.
This forum might be your best spot for a contact in Australia, I'm sure there will be quite a few US custom cutters on here too that know how to organise the right visa to.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2013, 12:02 PM
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In my experience IAEA is the most expensive program to go through and has had some questionable leadership. I would recommend International Rural Exchange or CAEP.

CAEP is an American company contracted by the Canadian Host Family Association to recruit for them. Each province also has it's own association which for you TMK would be the Alberta Host Family Association. CAEP has had it's share of issues as well, we didn't get anyone this year, and still waiting to hear about next year.

I have been reasonably impressed with what I have seen from IRE and they are the lowest cost option. I signed up with them for next year but I'm not sure if I'll get anyone or not at this point. My only other experience with them is what I have seen and heard from neighbours that deal with them.

We have been doing this for four years now and have had two great experiences and two years where we got nothing. I'm still hoping that it will become a more reliable way to find people but it hasn't happened yet. It can be quite an inexpensive form of seasonal labour but it all depends on who you get. There are certainly some horror stories but I think most years it works out pretty well. You just have to remember that every spring you are training someone new. It definitely can require some patience but can be very rewarding as well.

Your biggest problem now is that you are late to the game and will be at the bottom of the list for getting someone. There are some other recruiters out there that are not an exchange program who will probably be able to get you someone but it will cost significantly more.

Hopefully I haven't been too long winded. If anyone wants to DM me about this, feel free.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 01:48 AM
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I'm went to Canada with IAEA and the experience was excellent. They only take people with a rural background, and do their best to match the trainee and host, so they both get what they are looking/suited for. Of course this can't always occur, but in general you will get someone who is keen, has some experience, and is willing to learn new things.

There will always be a small percentage of d***heads that get through, but that's the same with any group of people. If you have a clash, the organization can re-locate the trainee, however in my area the dozen or so trainees all stay where they were put without issue, and loved it.

I think the host families are always very good because a bad one gets pinpointed fairly quickly as they keep coming back year by year. The trainees are a year by year proposition, with no track record.

For both trainee and host family its "Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get"

Don't expect a fully qualified 28 year old diesel mechanic, because you may get a 19 year old girl who spent six months in a flower farm. In my year we had that, and everything in between.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 05:51 AM
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I had my first trainee this year through agriventure. The trainee does pay a considerable fee to the program. There are problems with attaining visas as the government departments all around the world have been on a lengthy work to rule campaign. At least that is the problem our trainee had.
I know some farms that have ex trainees recruiting for them in their home countries and bypass the programs. I guess the advantage f the program is matching trainees to hosts, and a support network for the parties as well.
Be prepared to train someone new every year, and expect the odd knothead. Most are willing to learn and work. Mine was okay, turned out to be a decent equipment operator. However some ended up with waifs sent over by their folks, and it didn't work out too well.

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