We have been opening our farm gate to international delegations for over ten years.
There is no denying hosting visitors to your farm is a lot of work. It can also be very rewarding and enlightening
I grew up a country town in NSW. I met the first person who couldn’t speak English when I was ten. I was fascinated by the new girl at our school who was Italian and didn’t speak one word of English. How brave was she. We didn’t mean to but I am pretty sure we all made her feel like an alien.
I learnt French at school so was very comfortable travelling to France when I went overseas but I must admit sadly I have favoured visits to overseas countries where the majority of people speak English.
So hosting delegations of farmers who speak no English is quite an eye opening learning experience. Whilst they always come with a translator invariably the translator knows little about farming.
Dimitry the translator knew little about farming but he made up for that with lots of personality and good humour
The farmers always take lots of notes
take hundred of pictures
not only video cameras but and Ipads as well
and ask a lot of questions
and like all farmers love big pieces of machinery
and love to share their farming stories and this weeks visitors from Russia were no different.
Our consultant Dr Neil Moss was on hand to explain the technical details
Come to think of it I don’t think I have meet a Russian before and these farmers where so Russian. Why was I so flabbergasted when the bottles of vodka were bought out for morning team
There was vodka for the Russian Lattes
Straight vodka and vodka on the rocks
Russian and Aussie icons go down well together
This Russian delegation was from the Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) region and they were very proud of their heritage presenting me with a replica of the famous Motherland Calls statue.
The history of this statue is fascinating. Briefly in 1967, the Soviet Union dedicated a towering monument to one of its great World War II triumphs. The Motherland Calls stands 170 ft., hoisting a sword to the sky that measures another 108 ft. 200 steps lead to the base of the statue to commemorate the 200 day battle of Stalingrad where the Red Army broke a German siege, only to surround and defeat the invading army. Motherland is not fixed to her base, though, and seeping groundwater has caused the plinth to lean nearly eight inches.
I also received a bottle of Russia’s finest and I have since had a few Cosmopolitans to remind me of our new Russian friends