As a recent graduate of Earth University, completing his studies with an Agronomic Engineering and Agricultural Science Degree, Daniel José Jiménez Giraudy looked to CAEP to help him learn new ideas to help prepare himself for his future in farming. “We had a lot of practical work at school, but this experience is very different. I am looking to compare production systems used in developed countries that are famous for sheep farming like Australia, to the ones used in Central America. Once I have seen the whole process, I will bring the new ideas and technique back to my home country, Costa Rica,” Daniel said.
When Daniel was three years old, his father who was a farmer, passed away leaving his mother, sister and him with the farm. “As I didn’t grow up with him and didn’t learn to practice farming with him, my mother started leasing the farm to maintain it and to keep it in the family. At a certain point, I hope to take over our family farm again, using some of the experience I am learning here with my host in Australia.”
“The crops are very different in Australia compared to the crops we grow in my country. Nevertheless, the practices I have learned, the machinery I have worked with and the way I learned how to preserve water is going to be very useful to apply back home.”
Not only has Daniel had quite an experience learning new agricultural practices on the crop and sheep farm, he has immersed himself into the Aussie culture by making friends with the locals and traveling around the Outback. “It has been really amazing for me to meet people here because I find them very hard working. I think it is amazing to see the boss of the farm so hands-on in the day-to-day activities. He even welds and fixes tractors! It has been quite an amazing experience to share and work with my host family. I hope everyone has the same luck as me with their host family; mine has been great.”
Daniel resides on the farm where he has enjoyed getting to know his host’s three sons who also farm. “It has been fun working with the three brothers who are all around my age. It has been really nice because they already know what they are doing on the farm, so they help me out quite a bit. I am learning so much from them,” Daniel explained.
Since Daniel is currently the only trainee at the farm, Daniel spends quite a bit of time with the brothers on the farm. “We go to town on the weekends to relax and party! I am with them on a daily basis, and it has been great getting to know them.” Even though living thousands of miles away from his family in Costa Rica has been very difficult, Daniel has appreciated how family-orientated his hosts are. “The time change makes it very difficult to communicate with my family in Costa Rica, but things eventually get easier.”
Looking back at his time before he applied for the program, Daniel has some words of advice for potential CAEP participants “don’t let this opportunity pass you up. CAEP is a great opportunity to see the other side of the world and learn new agricultural practices.”