Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday night, January 14 Home Stay Reports

Dybedahls & Brenda Reisch

Craig and Bonnie Dybedahl and Brenda Reisch stayed at the country home of Tom and Jackie Trotter, rural Marton, on the North Island of NZ on Friday night. Tom and Jackie are retired sheep farmers and were our hosts for a great visit about New Zealand issues. Jackie prepared a very delicious "leg of lamb" dinner and bountiful breakfast the next morning. During much of Tom's farming career, their main enterprise was purchasing weaned lambs and then grazing them to market weight. They grazed as many as 20,000 lambs some of those years. Unfortunately for NZ farmers, the sheep industry has been in decline for some time. In the past they could generate as much revenue from the wool as they could from the meat. That is not the case today. Tom commented that back when he was 22 years of age, he once took a three month trip to many different countries by ship from the sale of two bags of wool. Jackie has a very extensive garden that contained hundreds of varieties. They have a lovely home and we were amazed how they could leave the doors and windows of their home open, for long periods of time, without invasion from insects.

From: Craig & Bonnie Dybedahl

Monte & Laurie Lucas
Laurie and Monte (SDARL Board Member) Lucas stayed with Joe and Ali Fullerton-Smith. They run a bull beef operation utilizing intensive grazing rotations. They "rear" freisen calves from four days old until grass fattened. A unique part of this ranch is all water for house and livestock comes from the fresh springs.

There are many beautiful gardens or the farm all tended to by Ali. It is interesting to be 8,000 miles away from home and find a lot of their concerns are the same as ours: high cost of health care, retirement, and rites(taxes).

We enjoyed laughing about the different words used to describe the same thing--for example "touch wood" instead of knock on wood!

We really enjoyed our home stay with our new found "Kiwi" friends !

Monte and Laurie Lucas