When 24-year-old Divair Weber left his home country of Brazil, he left the scorching sun and the summer heat behind as he traveled to the Midwest in the middle of a frigid February. “When I left Brazil it was 95 degrees and when I arrived in Iowa the temperature was 18 below zero. At first, it was not easy to adapt but over time I got used to it. I think snow is really cool!”
“I had the opportunity to do my agricultural exchange program with my CAEP host in Iowa, USA on a very diversified farm. I learned that when one activity does not go very well, the others compensate. With 2,000 hectares or roughly 5,000 acres, the farmer grew soybeans and corn on an annual rotation. My host also has dairy and beef cattle, hogs and an egg production. On the dairy end, we used automatic robots to milk the cows.
I learned a lot about soil preparation, monitoring of pests, diseases, weeds, planting and harvesting, and various cattle management such as artificial insemination and how to disperse medication to the cattle.
I not only got to travel to another country, I learned about other cultures and people. I had the opportunity to do a road trip for 21 days, traveling from New York to Los Angeles. It was an amazing experience having the opportunity to visit a lot of cool places that I was used to seeing in the movies and on TV, such as New York, Washington DC, New Orleans, Texas, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Without a doubt, the past year and eight months of my exchange experience was a period in my life that I grew up the most. I learned and matured a lot both personally and professionally. Today, I see that I am stronger, more mature, and I believe to be much more prepared for whatever comes next in my life. I’m braver now and I do not worry anymore what the next challenges in my life bring, personal or professional. I’m prepared.
Thanks CAEP for the opportunity!”