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HARRY CLOKE FROM OXFORDSHIRE
ENGLAND AT THE RIECKE’S FAMILY FARM IN BALCARCE


Recently I was invited to return to the farm Las Mercedes, near Balcarce in the Province of Buenos Aires for a week with a close friend of mine also from a country background in the heart of England. We spent the week helping with daily chores and the harvesting of Maize and Sunflowers which was going on at the time, as well as taking time to relax and simply enjoy being out of the city again. We received a very warm welcome back by the family by whom the farm is run, and spent a lot of the time with them, as well as exploring the farm and trying to see as many of the different areas of this style of intensive and diverse farming as possible. Having already worked on the farm for a week in January, this was a chance to see the change that takes place as the year passes through the seasons. We can both safely say we had a fantastic time and, as ever, ate extraordinarily well. Our thanks, as always, go to the Rodman family who have been so kind during my time in Argentina, the Riecke family who own the farm, and everyone who lives there for making the week so special.


Farming Exchange


Stock-Farming Experience in “Barwise”
Kai Philipp Riecke  

Farming Experience in Scotland!

From the last week of June until the beginning of August I did an amazing trip of lifetime trough Scotland. I visited 3 different farms and did a 4-day Aberdeen Angus Herd Tour in the Scottish Borders.

My trip started on the 28th of June early in the morning in The Royal Highland Show. Tom Rennie was waiting for me to go back to his farm, Mosston Muir, with his lorry and cattle, after been showing successfully his Anguses and Belties for 4 days in Edinburgh. We headed to Forfar, near to Montrose, where Mosston Muir is located.  Mosston Muir is a 100-acre big farm, where Tom and his wife Joyce breed Angus, Hereford, and Belted Galloway and produce about 40.000 Pheasant and 2000 Ducks a year. Two weeks of interesting work were waiting for me. I mainly helped with the Pheasant and Ducks but also prepared some Angus cattle for the Echt-Show. The Pheasants and Ducks arrive on the farm when they are one-day old and are kept until they are 7 weeks in pens with sheds. At the age of seven weeks the birds are sold to gamekeepers where they are kept in 1-acre big pens and prepared for the hunting-time in the late autumn.  I joined the team of two woman, Brenda and Neck, and a young man called Kayle who where in charge of looking after all the birds.  We had to fed and refill the watering of all the Pheasants every morning and also watch that all the pens where ok so the birds could not   escape and neither be attacked by predators such as Crows. Sometimes the Pheasants escaped of the pens and we had fun catching them with the net and putting them back. Luckily when I was there it was time to deliver some Pheasant to the gamekeepers. I was able to join Malcom, who was in charge of delivering the Pheasants, and see lovely parts of the country.

My next stop was in Wardes, a farm in the northeast Scotland near Aberdeen. There I was kindly received by Iain and Midge Mathiers who farm together with his son Scott about 5000 acres (Owning Tillyfour, the Farm where Aberdeen Angus was started to breed back in the early 19th century by William M´Combie). They mainly breed commercial cattle in their hilly grasslands, having once a year a sale. Heifers with calves are sold. The heifers are mainly continental cross breeds sired with Limousines bulls. They do as well some arable, seeding Barley and Peas producing feed for their cattle. Fortunately I joined Clark a 22-year-old man who works in Wardes.  We had to check every morning those cows and heifers that were ready for calving, delivering cattle to the slaughterhouse, tagging newborn calves and moving cattle from field to field. Once Iain took me to the cattle market, learning how a cattle-market works in Scotland. The cattle is auctioned one by one, showing them in the ring and giving the weight, age and breed on a big screen. Iain and Midge also taught me about how the register of cattle works in the UK, a complex system having for each cattle a passport.

After helping for 11 days in Wardes, I was invited by Iain and Midge to join the 4-day Border Herd Tour leaded by Eddie Gillanders. We went on to the Scottish Borders, where I got together with the North-East Angus Club. We slept in a lovely hotel called Carfraemill. In these 4 days we visited 10 different Farms, where we learned about their Aberdeen Angus Pedigree and their history. At the end of each visit a hot tee and good Scottish Whisky were waiting for us. It was for me a fascinating tour because I could get an idea of Anguses in Scotland and was able to judge myself many cattle. I did appreciate the good atmosphere that was on in the tour, having fun with all the members of the North-East Club and Eddie every time.

Afterwards the Herd-Tour, I did my last stop for one week in “Wedderlie”, a 1060ha big farm located in the Scottish Borders, near to Kelso.  Marion and John Tilson, the owners of the farm, warmly welcomed me. They breed together with their daughter, Wanda, about 200 Pedigree Angus cows being one of the largest and oldest herds in UK (100 years in 2013). John and Marion also breed Welsh Ponys, a successfully tradition that started in 1943,and Sheep having 500 Scottish Blackface and 900 Texel.
I helped lining up barley-straw-bales, clipped sheep and washed Angus bulls. John, Marion and Wanda shared with me their experience of breeding Angus. I went also with Marion, John and Wanda to the Border Union Show, being this year the national Angus Show, seeing notable Angus cattle.  The show was really busy and good. I was able to see horses, different cattle breeds and taste delicious Scottish food in the big food-fair building.

All in all, this trip was really enriching and maturing. I gained a lot of experience; learning about different ways of breeding and giving me knew ideas about farming. This experience opened me further horizons, gave me the opportunity to meet impressive persons and allowed me to see breathtaking landscapes of Scotland. I can safely say that I will not forget it.

My many thanks to the Rotman Family who helped me to plan this trip and also to Tom and Joyce Rennie, Iain and Midge Mathiers, Eddie Gillanders, The North-East Aberdeen Angus Club, Marion, John and Wanda Tilson for making me feel like part of their family and sharing all their experience with me. I hope to come back in the future!!




19/02/2010

Harry Cloke
Oxfordshire

Working at the moment at "Holy Trinity" College
Mar del Plata

-
Visit to "Las Mercedes" - "Piray Mini "SA - Balcarce

For the first week of the New Year, I was kindly invited to a modern 2500 acre ranch 80km from Mar Del Plata, which was a welcome change from living in a city for the 6 months since I had arrived in Argentina. I spent the week following a friend slightly younger than me,Kai Philipp Riecke  being taught to use everything I could lay my hands on, and taking note of the differences between English and Argentine farming. Since I was over the moon just to be spending the week around dogs again, it was hard not to have a great time; I spent a lot of time driving their largest tractor of many laden with 15 tons of wheat in the trailer behind doing runs between the fields and silos, clearing up fallen trees, rounding up cattle, helping with various other jobs on the farm, and even riding bareback. I was also lucky enough to watch and help a bit when vets came for a test run of inseminating cattle. The people were all very welcoming and the diet of a lot of meat with salad was greatly appreciated too. All in all it was a great experience to take back with me to Oxford, especially as it was a diverse farm based on an intensive European model, growing various crops such as soy, wheat, maize and sunflowers, as well as large numbers of cattle. My many thanks go to the Rodman family for putting me in contact with the owners of the farm. I hope to go back there in winter to learn more about the differences between the seasons.

 


Alan Forsyth [View Report]

Dear Mr M J Rodman

Firstly I would just like to thank yourself and the ESU for giving me this amazing opportunity. I am looking forward to it so much. I am presently working as a full time butcher and have done so for 11 years which is one of my keenest interests. We currently supply catering to local hotels, restaurants and golf clubs.We also have a shop where we sell locally produced meats and specialize in cured and smoked products such as our dry cured bacon and air dried hams. We do a lot of cutting work for farmers where we prepare and package their animals to sell at farmers markets and from their own farm shops.My Nan and Granddad had a small dairy farm which my Uncle and Aunt now run, I spent a lot of my youth on the farm hence the interest in livestock and meat, I have over the last 5 years built up a flock of 400 ewes and 200 ewe lambs which I buy in and sell later in the summer for breeding. I am hoping to start up my own retail butchers business when I get back from Argentina and I am looking to start a restaurant once I have the shop running smoothly. Enough about me. I had a couple of questions. I was thinking of starting with you from about the 5th of August if that ok? Plus what kind of day to day work will I be doing? I am currently having Spanish lessons and I have been helping exercise my friend’s polo ponies so hopefully I will be as prepared as I can be when the time comes.

Thanks again.
Yours sincerely,

Alan Forsyth

[Close Report]



Jeffrey Gee
- From La Pampa
[View Report]

Intendente Alvear , September 22 , 2008
Joaquin Oliverio  

This has been Alan’s itinerary since he left Quemú Quemú:  I picked him up at the farm on Wednesday 3rd September.  He accompanied me on visits to different farms in Saliqueló till Friday morning.  We saw 4 farms, each of which was 100% agricultural. I left him on Friday at a farm in Mones Cazón where he stayed till Monday 15th September.  In that week he did the rounds with Tomas Doeyo, the veterinarian who works for the firm Siecon in Pehuajó.  The farms they visited were in the area of Mones Cazón, Recalde and Mapis.  They are all breeding farms.  This week he assisted the town butcher to slaughter and butcher two steers, which I think was a good experience because he was able to compare the method used here with his way of slaughtering and buthcering.  On Monday 16the we slept at the farm belonging to my uncle, and on Tuesday I left him at a farm in Intendente Alvear.  The farm had a rotary milking parlour with 80 stalls where they milk between 1.800 and 2.000 cows all year round.  They are all a cross between “Holando” (Holstein???) and Jersey, something which is not seen in England.  From what I know (I have not seen Alan yet), he was going to be working with the boy in charge of all the birthing cows, and at midday he was going to do the rounds with the overseer and in the afternoon give the overseer of the “guachera” a hand.  This is peak time for birthing, and the “guachera” has 450 calves at this moment.  I think it has been a rather difficult week for him because nobody on the farms speaks English, in spite of which he commented over the phone that he was having a good time.

I hope that this brief report is useful.  Let me know if you require more detail and I will fill it in for you.

Regards,


Mr. Joaquin Oliverio
Engineer from Buenos Aires University
St.Catherine's Moorland's - Tortuguitas Old Boy

Farming Exchange July-October 2004
Scotland and UK


THE ENGLISH SPEAKING UNION ARGENTINA

Farming Exchange, August-October 2005. Won by Joaquin Lopez Sanabria from Salta and Buenos Aires University. Joaquin will be working on farms near Saint Andrews in Scotland, and three farms in England.


The itinerary planed is:

· Cameron Farms – Saint Andrews, Scotland until September 3rd
· Edinburgh until September 5th
· Fletcher Farms Cumbria, England from September 5th – 27th
· Bradstock Farm, Hereford, England from September 27th to October 20th
· Lord Radnor, South West England from October 20th – October 27th
· London from October 27th to October 29th

September Mr. Tony Bradstock, from Herefordshire England, will be spending three months on Estancias in Argentina.

Yours sincerely,

Malcolm J. Rodman  
ESU Argentina Chairman

Joaquín Sanabria
- At Darthmouth House
[View Report]

Tony Bradstock
- From La Pampa
[View Report]


Dear Carolyn and Family,

Joaquin has e-mailed me about his stay with you, he seems to have had a wonderful time and highly recomends a visit to the Fletchers next time I am in UK.

Carolyn thank you very much for having him and showing him the British way of life, I am sure it will be an experience he will remember for the rest of his life. Next time you come you should make a point of visiting Salta, it is a beautiful place, with excellent wines, and very friendly people.

Hope the season went well, Midge writes every now and then to put me up to date with your successes.

Here it has finaly rained after a long drought and things are looking up, sales of the bulls are going well.

We hope to be at the Highland or the Royal Shows next year so look forward to seeing you.

Once again thank you very much.

Love,

Malcolm J. Rodman
Chairman ESU Argentina


Dear Malcolm,

So glad Joaquin enjoyed his stay here, we certainly enjoyed having him here and he worked hard contributing a lot to the success of the two big herd visits we have just had.

Last week about 120 Angus breeders visited us to see the cattle and have lunch, yesterday was the turn of the Herefords to be on disply when we were visited by about 46 Hereford breeders, they seemed impressed with the cattle and also had lunch, I think both my sister and I have done enough cooking!

Glad to hear that it has rained at last, it sounded as though you were having a bad time.

The sale of bulls is far from exciting here, farmers are generally feeling short of money. sales of females are still strong and we had a good sale last week at Masham (Part of the Angus tour) when Tom's cow with twin calves topped the sale at £5200 and my two little heifers made £1450 and £1600 Pleasing as they were by far the weakest of that years heifers,but were still good genuine animals.
Best wishes to all.

Carolyn
Carolyn Fletcher,
Barwise Aberdeen Angus


THE ENGLISH SPEAKING UNION ARGENTINA

De mi consideración:

En nombre del ESU Argentina me dirijo a Uds. invitándoles a promover esta excelente oportunidad para un estudiante de Agronomía o carrera relacionada con el campo, que viajará a Inglaterra y Escocia en los meses de Agosto Septiembre y Octubre, 2005, teniendo la posibilidad de adquirir experiencia en trabajos rurales.

ESU Argentina se hará cargo del costo del pasaje (Bue-Lon-Bue) y la estadía estará a cargo de ESU – Inglaterra y los establecimientos en los cuales harán la pasantía. Los gastos de traslado dentro del Reino Unido serán a cargo del becado.

Las condiciones para solicitar esta beca son:

 1. Dominio del idioma inglés
 2. Varón: Edad de 20 a 23 años.
 3. Argentino nativo- Pasaporte al día. (enviar fotocopia con el CV)
 4. Ser estudiante universitario o de nivel terciario en carrera acorde.
 5. Práctica en establecimientos agropecuarios.

Los interesados deberán enviar su currículum con foto, un breve resumen de su experiencia en el campo y los motivos que lo impulsan a obtener esta beca a:

   Malcolm J. Rodman
   San Martín 390, 2º piso
   (1004) Buenos Aires

Fecha límite de recepción de currículum: 21 de Junio de 2005. Para más información, entrar en www.esu.org.ar, bajo “Farming Exchange”

Sin otro particular saludo a Uds. Muy atentamente

 

Malcolm J. Rodman
Chairman ESU Argentina

Dear William,

Joaquin is back from his very successful farming exchange and visit to London.

Please extend our gratitude to the London Branch for their help in making this possible. We were with Joaquin yesterday and he gave an account of his travels at our annual singing competition to the participants and their families. I am sure he has learned a lot and it is an experience he will never forget.

We hope to have some photos and an account of his experience on our web page in the next few days.

William a very special thanks to you for all your help and for meeting him at Dartmouth House. ooking forward to seeing you soon, our love to Kaia.


Best regards,

Malcolm J. Rodman
Chairman ESU Argentina


Mrs Midge Mathers
Tillyfour Farm
Aberdeen Scotland

Hi Malcolm,

We have said fairwell to Joaquin to-day.   I do hope he is o.k.at his  next farm--he really is an  exceptionally nice young man--very  willing and keen to learn.

He always went out to work with Garry (our farm manager at Wardes)without a moments hesitation---even at 2  a.m. when Garry needed help with a calving cow!!!

He went with Garry  most of the time because it is cattle he is most interested  in--and he got plenty of experience here-helped at a cesearian,rescued cattle from the river banks because of flodding--

Oh,yes,he  has had quite an exciting time.  He is probably lacking in experience in  handling cattle as Iain said to you to-day but he made up for   that in his willingness to work and his thirst for knowledge.

We also  enjoyed taking him around to see some of the sights of this  part of Scotland.I think and hope he did enjoy his stay with us.

Best regards,

Midge.

 
 

Farming Exchange July-October 2004
Scotland and UK
Mr. Joaquin Oliverio
Engineer from Buenos Aires University
St.Catherine's Moorland's Old Boy

Joaquin with William Marsden,Valerie Mitchell and
Helen Green at Darmouth House

Thanks!

I would like to express my gratitude to the ESU Argentina (specially to Malcolm and Cecilia Rodman), ESU London (specially to Helen Green and Valerie Mitchell) and to William Marsden because of the big effort they made in organizing my trip to the UK (England and Scotland) a few months ago (July 04 to October 04) for a farming exchange. During that time I had an excellent experience and I had the opportunity to meet very nice people. In the three farms I visited they made me feel like home and they all treated me like a son. I learned lots of new things related to my career but the most important was the opportunity I had to practice and improve my English. The first few day was quite difficult but after a week I get used of it. As you can see, it was for me a very nice trip that I will never forget. I’m very glad of being a new member of the ESU, and I want to tell you that I will be in contact with the ESU Argentina if you want any help from me. Thank all of you again for your effort and see you sometime.

Best wishes,

Joaquin Oliverio
Universidad de Buenos Aires

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