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Posted on Jul 20, 2014

Now into his eight week of his Canadian Exchange, Rural Youth Tasmania member Owen Woolley has reported home on his travel experiences to date.

Woolley, 21, from Kingston left for Ontario, Canada on May 25th after being granted this Exchange by Rural Youth Tasmania in August 2013. After the nervous wait and long travels, Owen arrived in Canada where he was thankfully greeted by Canadian local, Mike Sproxton, who himself travelled Tasmania on the return exchange in 2013.

Since arriving, Owen has been treated to the full Canadian lifestyle experience, traveling and boarding with members of the Junior Farmers of Ontario, a sister organisation to Rural Youth Tasmania.

As his fellow Tasmanians battle through a chilly winter, Woolley reports: “the weather here is quite enjoyable at the moment averaging 30 degrees of a day and a thunderstorm of an evening due the humidity”

His travels have taken him west from Toronto, south to Niagara Falls and the Canadian/US border, visiting all the popular tourist attractions and sites along the way, as well as attending JFAO events and functions. He now travels north towards the countries capital Ottawa and out towards the French Canadian region of Quebec. Along the way he has visited many dairy farms, most milking cows but he has also seen sheep and water buffalo dairy enterprises.

“The biggest tour we have been on so far was to Stanton Brothers Dairy, a 2500 head operation, milking 750 head in a double 36 parlour, milking 3 times a day. Producing 25,000 litres of milk a day, with a holding capacity of 65,000 litres on site and room to install another 32,500 litre tank in preparation for further expansion. The dairy has the ability to hold up to 4000 head, consisting of five cow and heifer barns, one barn for the milking parlour and another barn for calves”.

 Cash cropping enterprises are also popular, Woolley reports “The scale of the operations is hard to believe. Nearly everywhere you look ground has been worked to plant crops. Consisting of corn, soy beans and wheat, farmers store everything in silos or bunkers for their own use on the farm or supply local co-ops, our equivalent of Roberts or Elders. The other option for those that do have the room to store larger quantities of product, is to supply feed mills or grain elevators.”

Owens exchange continues for another month, in which he will attend further events and continue his sightseeing. Woolley then plans to complete self-travel to the western end of Canada and to pick up some farm work as the busy harvest season approaches. His trip is part of the Rural Youth Tasmania Study Tour/Exchange program that is open to any Rural Youth member between 15 and 30.