Matthew English – Kawartha County, Republic of Ireland Exchange

The Junior Farmers Association of Ontario is a great organization, that I have been apart of since the age of 15. It has taken me across most of Ontario more than once, but this year I decided I wanted to travel even further. I have always wanted to travel to the Republic of Ireland, but have never been able to take advantage of this opportunity. Earlier this spring I decided I was going to take the plunge and apply for one of the many Junior Farmer International Exchanges. What better way to be able to travel to a country and not only experience the sights but you get to live with other families and learn about their culture, rural lifestyle and farming practices. Luckily enough, I was awarded the exchange to the Republic of Ireland in March and I am now packing my bags to leave.

Through this exchange program I will be heading to Ireland for 3 weeks staying with many different host families within Ireland’s Young Farmers Clubs, better known as Macra Na Feirme. During the past few weeks, I have been anxiously awaiting the day of departure for my trip and have been busy researching different ideas of what I want to see while on my exchange. I look forward to meeting many like minded young people to share ideas and make new friends, all while having fun!

A brief outline about me, is that I grew up on a dairy farm in Lindsay, Ontario. I attended Kemptville College and received my Agricultural Diploma in 2009. I have worked for Holstein Canada as an All Breeds Classifier for 4 years, and I currently work for EastGen as an AI technician. I have been a dedicated member of the Junior Farmers Association of Ontario for 13 years, and I am excited to experience, this Junior Farmer member opportunity.

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