My Stay at the Rainer Farm
By Marc Oh Giese
I am Marc, 26, from Essen in Germany. I am student and was ordered to have a stay abroad in an English speaking Country to be allowed to teach English in school. I had the chance to make my dream come true and decided to go Canada, especially British Columbia.
The society for German-Canadian affairs sent me to the Rainer Farm. The Farm is in Darfield, a small village near Barriere which is famous for its Fall Fair and Rodeo (on the weekend after Labor Day in September).
Family Rainer is typical Canadian: very friendly! They are looking forward to every helping hand because they are also typical farmers: very busy!
My working day started every morning with a breakfast at 7.15am. Afterwards I put on my working dress (old trousers, gum boots, shirt/pullover) and started at 8. It was always important to start on time, because there is a lot to do and otherwise all 4-wheelers are in use.
Mostly, I started with moving sprinkler pipes on different fields. There are several hydrants spread all over the fields and it was my task to move a bunch of 30feet-long pipes to get the whole field wet.
At the beginning it was quite hard and I needed a lot of patience. It is all about balancing and after a while I developed my own strategies to get faster and better.
At noon is everybody invited to have lunch. Debbie is a great cook and deserved a “Thanks for lunch” every time. After lunch, I had always something different to do. Sometimes I cut the grass, helped to build a fence or cleaned a barn. If I had questions, I asked Karl, who helped me or gave me some new tasks.
After the cows were chased into the barn to get milked and fed, I had coffee together with some members of the family. The cows got milked at 4.45 every day (and at 5 in the morning, but that was definitely too early). Honestly, I had to get used to standing between huge cows, putting sensitive machines on them and taking care not to get kicked.
It doesn’t matter too much that they are shitting nearly every time and everywhere. But it got better after a while.
In the evening/ at night, I moved the sprinklers (and the corn gun which is a quite similar task) again.
During the preparations for Fall Fair my schedule was a bit different to my actual schedule. Karl, the vice-president, needed me to move benches or cleaning stuff.
Finally, I had a wonderful time on the Rainer Farm. I had the chance to discover the region around Barriere (Wells Gray Park, Jasper National Park, Kamloops, etc.) and learned a lot about what it means to be a farmer and the work in the food industry. Everybody who wants to work on the farm, I can recommend: be interested and try everything you get offered, although it is a kind of hard work sometimes. It could be your chance.