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Young farmers fly the flag for exchange programme

Published: 23 Aug 2012 13:000 comments

Young farmers exchangees from countries around the world have been enjoying Fermanagh hospitality during the past week.

Fermanagh Young Farmers played hosts to a number of international exchangees during the past week. Pictured are back row, Andrew Little, County Chairman; Tanja Salonen, Finland; Matti Kuykendall, USA and Trevor Wilson, YFCU Vice President; Front row(from left); Sabine Wegmann, Switzerland; Sandra Unterkofter, Austria; Lorna Graham, County Secretary and Becky Brunt, Derrygonnelly and Church Hill YFC secretary on a visit to the Ulster Farmers Mart.

The four, Tanja Salonen from Finland; Matti Kuykendall from Kansas, USA; Sabine Wegmann from Switzerland and Sandra Unterkofter from Austria have spent a week hosted by Fermanagh YFC members as part of their international exchanges when they have been away from home for as long as six months in Matti's case.

The international young farmers exchange programme provides a great opportunity for members to travel and learn about cultures in other countries. Matti, who is on a six-months programme, will have spent time in each of the four home countries of the United Kingdom as well as parts of Europe.

They also attended the summer outing of the Ulster branch of Young Farmers' Ambassadors which is an organisation for young farmers members after they have returned from exchange visits abroad. This year the summer outing took place at Lissan House, Cookstown followed by a meal at Killymoon Golf Club.

The experiences of each of the visiting exchangees is quite different in many ways from weather to culture. Matti reported that much of the Midwest of the USA was suffering from extreme drought conditions and crop yields would be devastated as a result. This is in mark contrast to the situation in Fermanagh where heavy rain this summer has had a major impact on farmers.

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