Off the Beaten Path - Farmer Exchange Program

Published: Nov. 10, 2014 at 10:33 AM CST
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Winter is coming and Ezette Coetzee is helping her host family get ready.

"The way you prepare for your winter time is so different; we don't even have snow," says Eztte Coetzee, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

She's already experienced one of North Dakota's infamous cold seasons and is amazed at all the preparation that's required to feed cattle until the snow melts in April.

"All the haying, all the chopping of corn, all that is just so different," says Coetzee.

Dwight Keller has hosted four other foreign exchange farming students from Germany, Denmark and South America.

"It's a learning experience for them and also for me. I've learned a lot about different countries I didn't know," says Morton County farmer, Dwight Keller.

Keller says one thing all interns who come to his ranch learn is that American farmers work harder than producers in other parts of the world.

"They work side by side with us," says Keller. "Whatever there is to do, we go do it."

The ones we've had from Europe, they can't believe how hard we work compared to how hard they work over there.

Keller says one of the reasons he and his interns put more hours into farming is because American ranches are usually larger than European operations.

Ezette says she doesn't mind hard work and the things she's learned in North Dakota will make her a better farmer when she returns home to start her own cattle ranch.